The heart wants what it wants, but this does not always mean it is correct. Likewise, the ego can be a vital source of confidence, but what do we do when it’s ego vs. love?
Humans are emotional creatures, and we do most things based on either ego or love. Therefore, the key to a fruitful life is knowing which one matters at which times.
No matter how hard you try to fight it, your emotions will try to find a way to come out. So let’s dive deeper into the difference between ego and love.
What is ego?
The term ego is Latin and refers to one’s sense of identity. Also known as self-concept, the ego is a collection of beliefs when you ask: “Who am I?”
Things that you believe constitute your identities, such as sex, nationality, religion, height, weight, skin, and eye color. Other descriptive characteristics could also be considered examples of the ego.
These beliefs are descriptive statements one believes about oneself — for example, the statement “I am a kind person” could be one example of ego in this context.
Ego, by definition, isn’t all bad.
What most people mean when they refer to ego negatively is an over-inflated ego, where you are no longer just confident — you become arrogant.
The danger of having an unmanaged ego is that you are more prone to an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or presumptuous claims or assumptions that you are better than others or deserve more.
What about love?
Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest interpersonal affection, to the simplest pleasure.
Love is a complex concept.
When you do things out of love, you are doing them either because you are passionate about them or because you know what you do will benefit others.
An interesting dichotomy happens when you care for people. You want what’s best for them and help them because you feel good about supporting them. This emotion can be confusing for some, given its context.
Caring is a feeling. It is a feeling you get from an energetic connection with someone. The reason why you care is that you believe the current condition of that someone has a profound impact on you. When you care about someone, you believe you share that person’s faith, whether true or not.
The act of love, ideally, is general and unconditional. You want to do something for someone because you know it will benefit them regardless of their reaction or what you receive in return. So to make it simple, love can be helping someone and not expecting anything in return.
Ego vs. love in giving
Most actions happen either out of ego or out of love. However, some people help others because of their egos.
When you are helping others because of your ego, you are doing so because you think you are better than them and that assisting them elevates your status.
When you act out of love, you help someone without expectations. This means that even if the person reacts negatively to your help, you still want to help them.
When should you do things out of ego or out of love?
There is a time and place for everything, including ego and love. Sometimes in life, you need to be confident and use your ego to get what you want.
Self-improvement should always come from “I can do better” instead of “I am better, which is why I will do this.” So instead of thinking you are better, use your ego to boost your hunger for improvement. This can be applied to physical, intellectual, and even spiritual efforts.
When it comes to love, treat your relationships with selflessness. Balance the use of your ego to know your self-worth, but be selfless when helping others.
Since not everyone has unlimited energy for everything, control who you give your love to, but leave a little kindness at the door. You never know when a little love from you will go a long way in the world.