Byron Katie, Mother Teresa live ego-free

Mother Teresa gives her life to sharing God's love free of ego

“Wake yourself up to how you live your life wanting credit. It’s exhausting. We use people to raise our own self-esteem but it only lowers it.” -Byron Katie

Spiritual leader Byron Katie spent years in a deep depression before waking up one morning and realizing that all her problems were in her head. She developed a simple system she calls The Work to help people understand and overcome the way their thinking creates all the things they don’t want in their lives. Change or eliminate the thinking and the problems disappear.

The quote at the top of the page reminds me of myself. On this journey of sexual abstinence I have begun to uncover things about myself like the fact that the less I feed my gigantic ego (especially with sex and male attention), the smaller it gets. I was using men to make me feel better about myself and, as Katie says, it only made me feel worse. That’s because you can never find what you need outside of yourself. You have to go within. Everything you need lives there.

The wanting credit part applies to me, too, because I have become known as a generous and giving person. What a lot of people don’t know–and what is shifting, thankfully, as my ego shrinks–is that my charity came not from a pure heart. I did things for others with the expectation of return, if not from them then from some divine source. I believed you get what you give and that’s why I gave.

That return could come in the form of recognition, applause, monetary gain, favours “owed” to me. When I gave, to me that was putting money in the bank to be withdrawn at a later date. And heaven help the person who didn’t return my good deed when called upon. They risked being cut off completely…and would probably never understand why. Or, in many cases, even care or notice!

Since I stopped feeding my ego with sex and male attention, many wonderful things are coming to light. I am feeling true love for myself for the first time and the pure desire to give just because it feels good. I want to help others achieve their goals and I am happy to do so anonymously.

In the recent past, the idea of giving without recognition seemed futile to me. I had disdain for people like Mother Teresa, if you can fathom that, because who but a crazy person would give of themselves and ask for nothing in return! I realize now that I was the insane one because the gift of giving exists in itself. It is an ego-free sharing love and connectedness to God and my fellow human beings that is the essence and source of true happiness.

I began this journey of sexual abstinence with the goal of finding a way to connect with a man on a level that is more than purely physical and that is not about feeding my ego. I am amazed at how quickly I am finding the joy that exists when you don’t give in to every impulse, when you practise patience and extend good will, and truly listen and connect with the person in front of you whomever that may be.

I am already looking at the girl who got texts from different guys at 2 o’clock in the morning and wondering how she could value herself so little that she thought that was okay. Because that girl doesn’t seem like me anymore. That girl was somebody else, someone who just needed to learn how to love herself. And not in the way we are taught–like looking in the mirror and saying you’re beautiful; I did all that. I’m talking about loving yourself the way God loves you: in spite of all your imperfections; quietly, gently, and unconditionally.


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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. thankyou for writing this. I am going through the exact same thing in my life and just want to find happiness within myself and to do good things without expecting any sort of recognition. Why is this so diffucult for us all?

  2. First i want to express gratitude for your post. Its amazing how i have traveled a very similiar path as yourself and am experiencing similiar insights and healing…which when you can see others going through it…it helps you heal too. I think whats helps is the articulation of your feelings and the way you describe it…because it sheds light on the words i couldnt seem to find…theres a bunch of ahh moments. My thought for today is the one in the course of miricles which says ” everything that seems to happen to me…i asked for and receive as i have asked”…it took a while to get past that ego…and realize that these were my spirtual teschers snd i can be sincerely grateful for the lessons of gratitude…forgivess….unconditinal love…boundaries etc…most important a deep spirtual understanding of life. keep writing love your posts … eventually i want to start a blog…

    • Thank you for your comment; it helps me in the same way to hear from someone who shares my experience. I am amazed how changing your thinking can change everything. I guess I just wasn’t ready until now. I am doing Course in Miracles now, on Day 70, and it’s really helping me on this journey to a new way of living.

  3. I am repeating what the others have said, but thank you from a someone who has been living that exact same way since she was 13. I am 23 now, and trying to go through a year of celibacy to perhaps heal all the damage I have caused myself. It is amazing how we as women so destroy ourselves because we feel like we have to. I have felt very alone, and seeing posts like these makes me realize I am not. Thank you, again, and good luck in all you do.

    • Wow, thanks for writing, and you’re welcome. I’ve been using my time to learn more about myself and love myself and not see myself as a sex object. I feel really different and I’m going into dating now with a whole new outlook. I’m not going to get physical with anyone until I really love him and I want someone who loves my inside as much as my outside.

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