There is a real, live monster that is so frightening it keeps me awake at night with the covers pulled over my head, as I tremble and murmur, “it can’t be real”. But it is. It is real. So scary is this beast, and so gargantuan is its appetite, that it could sandwich Chuck Norris between Armageddon and Sarah Palin, dip the lot in molten rock, and swallow it whole without blinking. I’m not joking. This rancid creature has truly redefined my ability to fear.
I discovered the hideousness of this demonic thing not too long ago – oh I’d glanced it before, seen its shadow lurking – but I can now say I’ve stared it in the face, and … Oh, the horror! … After seeing it front-on I managed to use one of the convulsive death-throws I experienced, to force my own finger into the nearest power socket and shock myself back to life. It was then I realised that this hellion has been following me! Stalking my every move everywhere! … And even worse … [gasp!] … it has the ability to possess me. Yes, it takes me over and uses me to achieve its own wicked ends!
What is it, I hear you ask?! … I’ll tell you what it is … It is the all-consuming, all-absorbing, all-dancing grotesqueness that is my Ego. And it wants more. More everything. This thing’s powers are so strong that it can take any thing (animal, vegetable, or mineral), any event, or any circumstance and make it all … about … me!
You’re granny died? As I rush to your side to ask how I can help, it will seize my soul and force me to wonder what I’d do, if it were my granny – because it’s about me. Obviously. When the grocery store is out of that stuff I like a lot – clearly, that is a personal attack against me. When I miss the lights – you can just ask the monster and it will calmly point out that, “it’s proof that the world is geared toward my annoyance!”. Oh yes. There’s nothing that this demon cannot alchemize into a narrative with me at the centre.
I heard once that there was some anti-aging face cream made from the young of some endangered species, and for a second, just before I reeled the monster in and was totally appalled by the beauty industry’s new low, I actually found the Beast whispering in my ear. “Weeeeell” it said, “if it’s endangered it’s on the way out anyway – best it make itself useful and youngify me as it goes” … Yuk! … And it was whispering in my voice too!
And of course, now that I’ve seen its form, now that I have a more complete understanding of the colossal scale of this thing, I can see it in everything! I can scarcely turn around without the Ego Beast shuffling in to obstruct my view completely. When I’m possessed by the Ego Beast it’s like being outside my own body, looking down at myself and thinking, “REALLY? That’s your first thought there Georgia? Is it?? Really???” … I realised this thing could eat me alive. It is entirely possible that I could soon be devoured whole, disappear up my own anus, and re-appear as a white, girl version of Usher … Just yesterday I caught myself taking an unnaturally long amount of time to pack up a bag with treats I’d made for a friend of mine. I realised in horror that I was doing this just so I could be sure I would be packing it as she arrived – so that she could immediately see, in detail, how lovely I am and shower me with appreciation right away … YUK! Be gone evil Ego Monster!
Panic-stricken, I called a dear friend this morning – you know the scene, where the scared woman realises that “it’s in the house” and calls someone for help. I jabbered at her, “It’s everywhere! Soon there’ll be nothing left of me! There’ll just be a massive Ego wearing a Georgia suit!”. My divine friend spoke calmly and clearly. She said, “Georgia, none of us are perfect. None of us. It’s your awareness of your own ego that’s important. Be aware of the Beast and act in the opposite direction”
I felt calmer immediately. Yes, I am an ego maniac, but I am aware that I am, and I have the option at least, to act in the opposite direction. Being that this monster is real, and we all know they live in the dark, I am exposing my monster to the light. Acting in spite of its want to remain incognito. Take that you shameful Ego Monster!
… Of course, my darling friend’s advice was resoundingly true and right. I am one very lucky woman to have such a friend. But hearing the part about not being perfect really got under my skin. It really made the Monster turn … “You mean, I’m not perfect now, but I will be perfect? … Once I deal with the ego thing … then I’ll be perfect … right?!?” … Just to cover all the bases my Ego insisted I re-draft this column 50 times. It is about me after all.
Doctor Bellamy Brooks once said “Egotism is the anesthetic given by a kindly nature to relieve the pain of being a damned fool” … I’m not sure what he meant by that.