This conversation about Ego vs Super Ego arose yesterday as we were doing a coaching call with our friend Tina (she was coaching with us) and we created clear time boundaries for expression. 15 Minutes for Me, 15 Minutes for Beka and 25 minutes for our joint sharing. With about 5 minutes of catch up time to start our call.
Everything was going fine until Beka went over her time. Now at first I just let go and accepted the fact that she had a lot to share but after about 10 minutes over her time I neutrally pointed out that we were over agreed upon time boundaries and that she would need to wrap it up. She remarked to Tina, “Oh, James is getting antsy, we can just turn it over to him.”
For whatever reason I found this comment incredibly triggering. I believe it was a combination of factors but first it felt like she was disrespecting me and the fact that I was the one paying for these coaching calls. Second that she was disrespecting the time windows that we had created. And third that she was disrespecting my feelings – which was even more frustrating as she prides herself on being super sensitive to what everyone is feeling. I was also feeling the constraint of having limited time and that I wouldn’t have as much time to express.
The trigger obviously had to do with something deeper than what she said, triggers always do. If I were to analyze it, it probably goes back to times when I felt disrespected or undervalued even though I was trying to do the right thing and it was costing me time, energy and money. Or when I felt like there wasn’t enough time or space for ME to express something important. Or when someone close to me feels like they don’t understand me – even more amplified when they think or say they do but haven’t taken the time to truly be aware of how I feel in that moment.
Nevertheless, what would otherwise be a silly off-hand remark triggered a deep inner resistance in me to the point where I didn’t even want to express. I didn’t want to do the call anymore. I told her “It’s all about you.. go ahead and use all the time.” But deep down I was feeling sad about the hurt, and hurt that I was so sad. And it felt like my frequency dropped a few stories in a flash. So I was also sad about that as I seek to try to stay in a high frequency.
But she and Tina were sensitive to the energy being experienced, Beka came over with the phone and Tina invited me to share how I was feeling and what triggered the emotion. Having Tina as an intermediary between us was important as I was triggered by Beka not her.
So her openness to listen and understand gave me a window to vent some of the pent up emotions and expression that wanted to come out. At first it was anger and frustration that she could be so ‘spiritual’ and ‘sensitive’ and yet miss the mark in terms of my feelings. Then I explained the other things that I shared above that made me feel disrespected in that moment. The more I shared the better I felt.
For the next 30 minutes or so – we just proceeded down this path of clearing the trigger between us, which in retrospect, was completion on a conversation we had started earlier in the night which I’ll get into on another post. What came out of the conversation though was more clarity around this concept of “Igo vs. Wego”
WHAT IS IGO VS WEGO
Very simply what Freud termed the Ego is the Self that only looks out for “I” .. the sense of “I” where the boundary of my nervous system, personal property and creations and personal expressions ends. It cares about surviving at all costs. “Igo” as an action word to describe the Ego when it’s all about itself saying, “There I Go!”
The Wego is simpler way to understand what Freud might have defined as the “Super Ego”. Wego is an action word describing the awareness of the individual that has expanded to consider the collective in that moment in time. Expressed as a more unified “There We Go” in doing what is good for us all, not just what is good for the individual I.
ONE IS NOT BETTER THAN THE OTHER , BOTH ARE IMPORTANT
Let’s just be clear.. we aren’t suggesting that one become a martyr and sacrifice their Ego for the greater good. Nor are we suggesting that to live in the Ego looking out for how “I Go” is the way either. We’ve already seen what that looks like. What we are suggesting is a balance of “There I Go” and “There We Go” is the best way forward. Taking time for listening to and caring for the individual self while not overdoing it to the detriment of the collective. There’s no hard-set rule here, but if your awareness is expanded through care, compassion and love for others as an aspect of self, you’re on the right track.
What had really hurt was that this call was supposed to be shared, and that I was looking out for everybody on the call and just asking that the individual Ego be held accountable for agreements and what was consented to.
I realize now that her own deep need for expression was being realized through Tina’s great listening and she lost track of time. And Tina lost track of time. And I actually wasn’t that triggered from her going over time. What was triggering is that when I pointed it out, the response felt like a strong energetic push back. It wasn’t considering me or my feelings. This is classic “Igo” expression .. the “Igo” is not looking out for the We.. it simply seeks to express, be free and do what it wants.
Fundamentally this kind of consciousness is what’s impacting the planet in a big way and yet it could so easily shifted if our collective consciousness could shift from Igo to Wego.
Wego is the expansion of awareness to beyond the individual i or small ‘I’, to the more expansive and bigger “I” that includes all of WE. It’s doing our best as a collective to move as one body.. regularly checking in, getting consent and doing what feels best for the whole.
Becoming a person that is sensitive to what’s best for the “Wego” takes practice, and good communication. Transparency and externalizing that which is internal. It requires balancing the needs of the Igo with the needs of the Wego, which is the needs of all Egos but in a collective sense.
A single solitary Ego / Igo on this planet could consume all the resources and so long as it had its needs met, it would feel okay about that. But an awareness that has expanded to the point of the Wego is considerate about the resources they consume, the space they take up, the expression that might impact others in the space, etc.
They aren’t all about individual freedom at any cost. They are about balancing individual freedom in harmony with the needs and freedoms of everyone sharing the space, whether that space be a room or the entire planet.
If I can shift and expand more of my awareness into the feelings and needs of the greater WE, I will think, behave and feel differently. I will feel in greater harmony with other humans. I will probably more more liked, more respected and more cared for. And there will probably be greater resources and abundance to go around as all of “I” attempts to overflow to all of “WE”. This is the consciousness shift to experience more universal abundance.
James Sunheart is a student of personal development and spiritual growth. He is passionate about optimizing people, systems and life. He’s written 7 books. Interviewed hundreds of experts. Given a TED Talk in France. Lives in Costa Rica while developing a sustainable eco-village. For opportunities email: James AT FullPotential.com