When mentioning the word 'ego' a lot of people tend to react as if it's a plague. Ego is thought of as something 'bad', many try to 'kill' their ego and others run when they hear this word. I agree that being egotistic may not be the best quality one can have and we should try to work toward being kind, generous, etc., etc. Still, without the sense of 'ego' (self), we wouldn't be here, either.
How would we survive if our natural instincts don't try to protect us from harm? Let's think of an extreme example, would any of our ancestors have run away from a sabretooth when it was about to eat them? And would our species still exist then? A less extreme example would be when someone is has no healthy boundaries, thinking they're only being kind so they let people walk all over them, in the end, they get hurt, don't they? Even if they think that they can take it, they're teaching those other people that it's alright to overstep other people's boundaries and take advantage of them. It's not alright, and they need to learn that. So a healthy sense of self is needed. The question is, where is the balance?
As always, balance is the key. Harmony is what we actually need. But that is exactly the challenge! I would say that most healers (if not all) are quite caring people. We want to help others and we work on ourselves constantly. Working on the ego might even be one of the first things we have to deal with. Even then, it doesn't mean that the ego is dead. Sometimes, people need to keep checking with themselves if they're out of balance in this regard. I might have mentioned the following somewhere but I'm going to share it with you again.
My father used to tell me not to become arrogant just because I'm gifted. It used to annoy me because he said that a lot and if you know me personally, you would agree that I'm not arrogant at all. Well, if you disagree, we could have a discussion and maybe that could open my eyes a bit. But back to the story. My father used to tell me that not because he thought I was arrogant but because of what he had seen. He had seen nice people become arrogant, thinking they were invincible after a while of becoming healers and gaining respect and even fame from being 'special'. A lot of them gave in to the the feeling that they were superior, they were so special that they didn't have to listen to what anybody else said, soon they forgot where they came from, they forgot why they embarked on that journey and then they met their downfall. Time and time again, this seemed to be the pattern for a lot of healers and magic practitioners my father knew and he didn't want that for me.
I wouldn't want that for myself, either. For many years I had thought that if one has really worked on oneself then that would never happen so those people might never have worked on themselves before they gained their fame. But lately I see that some things just need to be kept in check and even when you think you have worked on it, now and then it's still good to take a look and make sure everything is alright. While it's true that fame, money, power and alcohol can magnify something you already have somewhere inside of you but never realized, that's why when people get drunk they can behave so differently and say things they usually would never say when they're sober, things that were hidden even from them. Remember that there are some rich people who do charity, too, which means, they do have it inside and the money brings it out more so in the end, it's not money or fame, it's what we have hidden inside of us. But that's not all.
Unfortunately, I have also witnessed people change not because they suddenly got drunk or became rich, but because they thought they already knew everything so they didn't listen to anybody else anymore and anything you said would be an attack to them. Then there's nothing left for you to say. When you think you already know everything and no one else knows as much as you do, no one understands you, you don't listen to anyone anymore even when they're trying to help you, where do you think you may end up? I understand that sometimes, we do know best what feels right for us and it's our choice in the end. I'm one of those who was often told what to do and one of my lessons this life is to trust myself completely and do as I feel is right for me, regardless of what anybody else says. So I get it. But then, here's another thing that most people might overlook.
If one has a healthy sense of self, would one need to be on alert and thinking everybody else is attacking them to begin with? I mean, if you have a healthy image of your self, a healthy sense of self and you know that you're going through something people don't really understand so what they're telling you is something irrelevant to your situation then you could just discard it, right? You might get annoyed but you can still discard it. But if you still have issues around the 'self', then this would just be salt to your wounds, wouldn't it? And when that happens, anything anyone says becomes an attack. I think that instead of taking suggestions as attacks, you could also listen to what people are trying to say. See where they come from, see why they say it, see if it's helpful to you and if there's anything you could learn from this. Maybe you're right not to listen and your lesson is to never let the person's opinion bother you. But at the same time, also try to see if you actually provoked this and caused this conversation to take place, to begin with. Is your sense of self out of balance to begin with?
No matter how spiritual we are, we are still humans and we don't always see everything about ourselves. I know I don't, I keep discovering things about myself even today. And just because we think we have worked on an issue doesn't mean that someday something doesn't get into our head. After seeing this for myself, I try to look at myself and see if I'm also heading in that direction and I hope I don't end up there. I can see why my father was so worried about it for a long time. Although he seems to have more faith in me in this regard now and doesn't talk about this anymore, I will always remember it and will try to see where I am with my sense of self and check if I have developed such a big ego that I think I'm better than everyone else, or that I know everything, no one else does so I'm never going to listen to any kind advice from people who care. And I'm also trying not to take suggestions or advice in a negative way even when I know that the person knows nothing about my situation and is just trying to 'preach', because, unfortunately, those people also exist. I know I'm only a human but I do try. I hope and pray I will never end up where my father once feared I would. The issue of ego/self is a lot bigger and deeper than we think and it's not about having or not having it. It's about good balance so everything is in harmony, so that it doesn't get in the way.