Competition and Ego

In an earlier post I talked about how we’re taught to compete with each other for a sense of self-worth, fighting over status like zombies fighting for the last brain – a more apropos metaphor the longer I consider it. That was an observation about larger society in response to a specific question. Maybe I was too nice in that post, because it’s already circled back around in a way I wasn’t expecting (more fool me). I recently got pulled into a pissing contest between spirit-workers and wanted to scream.

This “I’m a better spirit-worker that you because I (insert thing here)”, or “You don’t meet my standards because you don’t (insert thing here)” is fucking embarrassing, people. It’s like we’re trying to get the cute quarterback to ask us to prom.


Do I need to repeat that, maybe with exclamation points and italics? Put it in iambic pentameter? Write a catchy little song? Make a cute graphic with a kitteh? How’s this?

Because cats are apparently internet magick

Who are we trying to impress? Ourselves? Each other? It’s certainly not the Powers we claim to serve. And that means we’re missing the whole damn point.

Spirit work is about serving the Powers. That’s it. Not your ego, not someone else’s standards, the Powers. Are the Powers with which you work happy with what you’re doing and how you’re doing it? If “yes” then you’re doing it right. If “no”, then change things until They are. Period. It’s a very simple concept, and yet we keep screwing it up.

I know this can be hard, especially when we’re just starting out. There are so many reasons to depend on other people. Listening to the Powers is challenging, and it’s easier to listen to other people then it is to tune in to other Voices. We want the sure knowledge that “we’re doing this right”, and we just know we have to be right all the time or the Powers won’t like us anymore. On and on and on. I get it.

But, again, spirit work is about serving the Powers. We have to listen to Them. It’s the job description. So frankly? GET OVER IT. Do the hard thing. Get out of your own way. Listen only to the voices that matter and further your own work. Practice discernment and seek understanding. Then engage with what you’ve learned and live it. Talk to other people about how to listen better/more deeply, to get new ideas and explore the parameters of accepted truths. It’s even helpful to hear about another person’s journey and be inspired by it. Don’t listen to anyone else about what exactly your work is or should be. That’s between you and the Powers, no intermediary required.

Seriously, people. A bike ride from New York to California can’t be compared to a plane trip from London to Australia in anything but the loosest sense. That reality doesn’t change when we start talking spiritual paths instead of physical ones. Trying to compare – and worse, rank – spiritual journeys? It’s futile, exhausting, time consuming, and stupid.

If we devoted half the time/energy/thought/judgement to our own work that we spend worrying about how everyone else’s work is progressing we’d all be further along.

So stop the bullshit already. I don’t want to write captions for more kitten pictures.

2 thoughts on “Competition and Ego

  1. lisaspiral says:

    Sadly we live in a culture that has taught us if someone is good then someone else must be “less”. We perpetuate our cultural norms even when we are unaware of them. I agree that we spend way too much time in judgement of other people’s work. I also think that some of us are called to be spiritual teachers/guides and so we need some way to learn how to be supportive in our criticism and discerning in our judgement. I suspect that doesn’t at all describe the bruha you just found yourself involved in. Still I think the question as a whole deserves a deeper thought than “just say no.” Maybe there are more kitty captions in your future after all. 🙂

  2. Stephanie says:

    I like the kitty picture, but I agree with you.

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