One of the signposts that we're moving toward wholeness is that we are increasingly aware of and managing our ego. Although “ego” may conjure up an image of a self-absorbed narcissist, we each have a natural and powerful inner force that pulls us toward self-preservation and self-interest. Not everything about our ego is unhealthy. For example, it's good to pursue our goals, dreams and needs. The Bible even tells us "don't look out for your own interests, but also the interests of others" (Philippians 2:4, emphasis added). The “also” (“kai” in the original Greek) indicates that the goal shouldn't be to disdain our ego, but to manage it well.
As I've grown in self-awareness through inner reflection, I've realized that my personal agenda is almost always at work. It's amazing how my ego is silently present even while I’m loving others. Sometimes when I assist my kids with homework or help my wife with dinner, I realize that my underlying motive isn't to serve them, but rather to pave the road toward something I want. For example, in my 20’s and 30’s, I patted myself on the back for being a husband who stepped up with household chores. I often performed with the expectation to be recognized and thanked. Back then, I saw a hero inside me, but now I see my impure motives. Plus, my attempt to cause others to appreciate my good deeds was for my benefit, not theirs. On a side note, I’ve learned that most of our attempts to correct someone are less to help them grow and more because it bothers us.
At Integer, SELF-AWARENESS is one of our 6 core concepts (Awareness → Alignment → Vulnerability → Conflict → Connection → Wholeness). In fact, it’s the initial concept we cover in our Integrate program. Why… because you can’t repair what you can’t see! Integer coaches understand it’s not easy to look inside ourselves, which can be a very rewarding but scary process. That’s why we offer a variety of experiences and services to help you gently explore your inner life with compassion and openness.