Why in the world would anybody put chains on me?
I've paid my dues to make it.
Everbody wants me to be what they want me to be.
I'm not happy when I try to fake it! No!
(Easy, Lionel Richie)
It struck me this morning, while listening to Lionel's song on the radio, that this "easy" feeling is exactly that, a feeling. Enjoy it while you have it and find the root cause of the interference when you feel that something is off instead. That's all we can do anyway. While feeling "easy" is unfortunately not something we can take for granted, yet, it is a privilege of walking the WAY that peace of mind becomes more and more frequent.
The "ego" is an overused concept in our spiritual community and it is also a pretty opaque expression. Yet every spiritual traveler has observed a destructive energy that runs through us and somehow manages to cut us off from what is. This energy creates exhilaration when things are going our way, and depression or anxiety when we feel that life may present us the short end of the stick.
There are the many occurrences when this energy throws a wrench into the works, either by lusting after things that are not ours to get, or by trying to anticipate developments it understands nothing about. Statements like, "I will be happy when I get this promotion", or "I will be financially secure when the kids are through college", are bullshit. Credible or not, unfortunately these statements sound so convincing when they are running through our head that we tend to believe it.
It is true what they say, there is an observer inside of us who can be aware of the interplay between our "ego" and life. Everyone who has fallen into these mental traps a few times knows about this problem. A spiritual path will actively help us to stay connected with life's energies and puts us in a position to be mindful of these interfering influences. Recognize the distracting energy at work, realize the games you are playing with yourself, let the WAY help you to distance yourself from this energy, and finally feel easy!