Lama Zopa Rinpoche once said that when one’s ego is harmed, one should rejoice. The stronger the harm to the ego, the more quickly one destroys the ego. I do recall an incident where my ego was badly bruised and believe me, at the time there was no rejoicing. I did however learn a valuable lesson from this …
I was working in a job where part of my role included writing the monthly newsletter. At times I found it to be very tedious, especially when I did not have anything to write about. But one particular month was different. I was very proud of what I had created and confidently showed it to my boss for proof reading and approval. I did not get the nod. I was asked to change quite a few things and yes, my ego was bruised. No matter how many times I went outside to feel the wind on my skin and try to Let Go, my sense of failure remained and I arrived home feeling rather frustrated.
Pacing up and down on the lawn outside, trying to regain my normal happy composure, I walked past a small heap of sand which I had not seen before. Under normal circumstances I would have taken the time to investigate it, but that day I had other problems to solve.
When I realised that the pacing did not help, I sat down to try and relax. That did not work either. My muscles were aching (no doubt from all the tension), so I decided to lie down flat on my back to stretch and relax. Not feeling much relief, I rolled over onto my stomach and rested my head on my hands. Right in front of me was the little heap of sand. From my new perspective, I could see that it was an ants’ nest and I was rather surprised that I could not see it from my previous perspective.
In that moment I knew that Mother Nature presented me with another pearl of wisdom: I needed to be willing to change my perspective and look at things from a different angle, and yes, even from my boss’s point of view.
Simple Advice to Overcome a Bruised Ego:
If you ever suffer from a bruised ego, rejoice! Instead of becoming defensive, try to look at the situation from multiple perspectives: you may be surprised by what you discover.