I have been living an ego-driven existence. I have recently discovered that a false self has been running my life for the last 20 or so years. Discovery of this imposter always causes a crisis. This crisis is not a real crisis but is the destruction of that ego. Of course, we all see things in this society from an ego perspective, and when we discover the ego, we believe that our world is ending. But, you know, I have had two of those nervous breakdowns – which, by the way, are nothing more than ego breakdowns. A nervous breakdown is when the ego collapses because it cannot hold up the illusion of a false self any longer. Of course, when this happens, it looks as if our world has ended, but we are still here, and the question is: Who is this person that is left? Usually, after a nervous breakdown, we are left with nothing but our true selves. When this happens, from that moment on, we can make the choice to live authentic lives. We can make the choice to be who we really are instead of living a lie.
Now I know what David Cates meant in his book “Unconditional Money” when he said, “We go around living with masks on.” What he meant was our ego masks. But the ego must be destroyed for us to find our true selves because it is only in finding our true selves that we will find our true power.
What does ego have to do with inspiration, you ask? Inspiration is the guiding force, a constant beacon, a lighthouse, if you will, to who we really are. Joy is a golden light, always shining and guiding us to our true selves. But most of us have been living behind ego masks for so long, longer than we can possibly remember, that we don’t even realize we are living a lie and that there is a completely different and separate person behind the mask.
A nervous breakdown is not necessary if we realize that joy and inspiration are our friends and can guide us back to the reality of who we really are. Then we can start slowly deconstructing our egos over a period of time and make a slow transition from an ego-based reality to an authentic reality. Nervous breakdowns are perhaps a last desperate attempt by our true selves to not suffocate behind the mask of our ego. Nervous breakdowns are a scream for survival by our true selves. It is our spirit calling out. If that calling out means the total destruction of our ego-based lives at that point – the losing of jobs, possessions, false friends – then so be it, because the ultimate reward will be one of the most precious things we could ever have: the realization of “who we really are.”