egoWow, my ego.

Holy shit. When I allow my ego to control me, it is one of the most painful, days, weeks, months, and years of my life. When I can’t forget about something and I say “hey man, I’m not liking this… that person you allowed in your life took advantage of you. We have to come out, we have to beat them up.”

Your ego first shows up when you are in kindergarten. I remember really well when mine showed up. I was living in Riverdale, in a place called the Winsor Towers. There were two buildings. There was a pink building and a blue building. It was ’60s architecture, some mid¬century kind of modernism, big apartment, funky kinds of designs on the outside. It kind of looked like something you would see in a movie.

Anyway, I went to nursery school that my dad wasn’t really keen on. One day, I got into it with another kid there, John. And he kicked my ass. I still remember it to this day. I got up, my father looked at me and said we need to go see your mom. I was screaming in pain. My entire skin off my nose ripped off, my mother had to take tweezers to get the pebbles out of my nose. She sprayed me with vaccine.

It was Saturday. That night we went to some friend’s house in Jersey, and we slept over, and all I could think about was how I had to go to school on Monday. Because I knew John was going to have one up on me. I was self-conscious and aware of it.

Maybe at that time, being five, I didn’t really know it was my ego because it was showing itself for the very very first time. But I remember the apprehension I felt at going to school that morning. I remember telling my mom that I don’t want to go because I really felt like John was going to have one up on me. And sure enough, the second I walked into class, John looked at me and seized the opportunity.

His ego at five — and my ego at five — met for the very very first time. He looked at me and he called me scab nose. My week was ruined. The following weekend I was picking scabs off my nose. We stayed at a friend’s house in Jersey again, and I was totally ruined.

I remember how insecure I felt for a period of time after that. My ego couldn’t handle it. I tried to attack back at John by calling him short because I was taller, and John knew his ego had won.

That’s when my ego first showed up. I didn’t know it was my ego, but since then my ego’s been really wonderful. The money it lends people, the arguments it has with people. Just the other day this woman at a gas station told me that I almost ran her over, which I did not do. So my ego decided to yell back at her.

My ego has been there so many times. But you have to check it. You have to check your ego. Your ego is just a bully. It’s like this short little man inside your brain that’s no different than Napoleon. It’s got Napoleon complex.

Your ego shows up only because it has to prove that it’s right. You see, there is no right, there is no wrong, there’s just choices in life. So your ego has to let go of every kind of choice. When you choose a relationship, when you choose to lend money to somebody, when you choose to do something, your ego has to let go because there’s no reason in the world that it still needs to be there.

You see, your ego is going to ruin your life. Your ego is good for some things. It’s great because it drives you and it makes you successful and it gives you certain things. But as you get your older it starts to ruin those things it gave you, and that’s the problem.

It starts to really fucking mess with your mind, it let’s you linger in things. It makes you angry for things for a period of time, because your ego can’t believe it could make mistakes, even though you shouldn’t be making mistakes any more in life. That’s your ego speaking. Your ego is telling yourself, man, I’ve already made this mistake. How did I make this mistake again?

But in reality you need to be kind and say to yourself, “It’s okay. I made the mistake again because I obviously didn’t learn the lesson, and that’s OK. So let me just learn this time and let me be kinder and more gentle to myself.”

You’ve got to stop letting your ego get in the way. You’ve got to start being present in everything that’s going on and you’ve got realize you’re going to screw up as a human being. Your ego is protecting you. It doesn’t allow you to be vulnerable — to be truly vulnerable — the kind of vulnerable in which you’re going to use the word “help.”

Help. I need help right now. I need help, man, I can’t handle this. I’m presented with something that I don’t know how to handle. You see, so many times in life we just don’t know exactly what we’re doing. So when we don’t, we ask for help. Your ego wants to go on and move forward.

The fact of the matter is, help is the greatest word in the world. So the next time you’re in a situation where you’re not sure how to handle yourself, ask yourself, “what do I do here?” Ego, don’t answer me. Vulnerability, answer me, and the answer is always help.