My ego has a pimp slap. For those of you unfamiliar with what a pimp slap is, the Urban Dictionary defines it as “The act of backhanding the cheek, delivering the blow from across the body”. For example, a pimp will slap his business associate solidly and exclaim, “Bitch, where’s my money?” thus asserting dominance.
So how is it that my ego has a pimp slap you may wonder? Well it comes out of nowhere, as unexpected assaults generally do, a memory flashes across my mind devouring all other thoughts like a hungry cannibal, then departs leaving behind the taint of acute embarrassment and feelings of inadequacy. The offending memory varies from an insignificant misplaced word to a personal action that others may have found amusing at my cost and the results of these mental assaults are just as varied, ranging from a cringe to a violent convulsion. Why, just this morning whilst taking a bath I was forced to relive standing in front of the class in high-school, singing some or other song. I nearly drowned in guilt, shame and bathwater.
I’ve surmised that its aim is to lower my emotional set point, to make me wallow in a moment that no longer exists and make me feel less than I am. And thus the ego derails my spiritual progress and saves itself. This is a dynamic I’ve lived with for as long as I can recall, instilling in myself a subtle fear of human interaction, in life in general really, lest I act and embarrass myself and thereby give my ego more ammunition with which to continue its mental assaults. Writing this now, I think I’ve just discovered the reason for my chronic procrastination.
But this is not a sustainable paradigm within which to experience life. It certainly is not a pleasant one. I recognise that this is not something that will go away of its own accord and in taking responsibility for my life it falls to me to do something about it. I don’t believe I can simply make this go away as it is far to entrenched, or rather I believe it to be the case. What I can do is change my perspective. Instead of viewing it as an attack, I can view it as a gift because when you curse a situation it will curse you, but if you bless a situation it shall bless you in return.
Now how could I possibly view this dynamite that at times causes me to physically convulse be viewed as a gift? Well, if nothing else this slap from my ego highlights some unresolved issue, an obstacle from the past that is limiting my present experience. I am being given an opportunity to do the hard thing; to confront the experience, break it down and lessen the emotional charge it has. I am given the gift of recognising that the past experience is not who I am and can thus come back into alignment with who I truly am, by seeing that which may have been keeping me out of alignment. I am reminded to disassociate my identity from a painful memory. Maybe it is time to ask “what painful mental patterns are keeping myself out of alignment and how can I change my perspective?”
Just a quick endnote: I wrote this well over a year and a half ago – with a quick addition this morning. I was planning on giving it a different ending, but re-reading this now, I realise it has relevance for what I’m studying at the moment and will probably write a follow-up post.