HUMILITY MONTH: DAY 28: “Humility, the place of entire dependence on God, is the first duty and the highest virtue of the creature, and the root of every virtue. And so pride, or the loss of this humility, is the root of every sin and evil.” ― Andrew Murray
If I substitute the word EGO for pride here, I am right on board with this quote. While pride is the thing named in the 7 Deadly Sins we are familiar with, I am more inclined to talk about the Ego, because it is the identified bad guy for us.
Ego is that sense of identity we have which is completely warped and distorted. It is our belief system, and the driver of all things dysfunctional and addiction-related.
The tendency we have to self-destruct and become the ugliest self we become is all based in Ego. I love to call mine the Screaming Purple Monkeys (SPM), because we all can identify with the inner voices that tell us that all is doomed, and we are never going to succeed, get any real recovery, blah, blah, blah.
THAT, my friends, is the Ego. It is a deadly foe. Sadly, it is a part of our working mind, but the part that is dysfunctional and broken. We become dysfunctional and broken when we listen to its message, even if only for a moment.
I have never bought into the Satan/Lucifer identity. I think we are, as once stated by Admiral Perry and popularized in its current derivation by Walt Kelly in Pogo; “I have met the enemy and he is us.”
We all live with our own demonic/Satanic monster. I have the name for mine that I have because it is one that I can identify. We may consider it the same thing as our addict brain or the alter-ego of our better and higher self.
This dynamic exists for all of us, as far as I can gather. Our failings as humans are these character defects, which we are becoming ready to have removed by that Universal Power in this step. As we understand and learn what they are and how they work, we become clearer on them being the antithesis of our highest self. But, these are ALL products of the Ego, the Defense Mechanisms we may learn about through a therapist or in treatment.
Defense Mechanisms are born for a purpose, to defend and protect the ego in its fragile state as a young toddler into childhood. As we mature, they are left behind, because they have become untenable tools for dealing with life.
If maturity is not reached, we may still cling to these tools, but they are not only untenable, but destructive and completely inappropriate for the task after the age of 5 or 6.
Depending on God is the thing we begin to do in Step 3 and continue to do through the rest of these steps. THAT will do what the BB speaks about when it states: “the ego has to be smashed.” We must allow the Universal Power to take away these broken tools and replace them with mature, rational, and appropriate ways of meeting life face-to-face. What a great thing this is…the more we learn, the more beautiful it becomes!