“Ego strength…refers to being resilient.  The resilient person says ‘I can bend but I won’t break.’”  James Walsh, Pastoral Counselor

Your ego is your conscious self, the first boundary between you and the outer world.  Your ego protects you from danger by putting your survival first.  It carries a big load as your life manager and information synthesizer. Your ego allows you to think critically and make sense of the world around you.  Don’t leave home without it.

Teachers from the ego-reducing thought systems sometimes talk about the ego as if it is a nuisance that interferes with well-being.  Current research suggests the opposite:  Meditation and yoga strengthen our egos by building calm and clarity, increasing our resilience to face problems and bounce back from adversity.  Being resilient doesn’t mean that we don’t have tough days or feel stretched beyond our coping mechanisms.  Resilience gives strength to deal with psychological limits so that we know when it’s time to say no, pull back or regroup.

Online technologies are deconstructing our egos by changing our language, thought processes, and communication patterns. Our media outlets churn out a constant stream of provocative messages designed to hook us into fear and anger-inducing political dramas.  Select your news and social media groups carefully.  Don’t underestimate the power of groupthink.   People with weak egos are most susceptible to letting media voices and social mobs tell them how to feel and what to believe.  A strong ego will defend you against the pressure to conform.  Stand tall for yourself.

Strengthen your critical faculties by reading news from reliable sources.  When in doubt, consult a media bias resource or fact-checking site. You need your wits to navigate this bumpy patch of American life.  Cultivate calm by disconnecting from stressors as often as possible.  Take time for quiet reflection.  When you feel like the walls are closing in, reach out to someone who cares.  Stay connected to those who matter and show kindness to strangers wherever you find them.  We’re all in this together, from strength to strength.