This is a question that has been on my mind quite a bit lately. How do I know when the Ego is rearing its ugly head and I'm not coming from a place of Spirit?
It really helped me to define the Ego in the way the ancient Greeks intended. Think of the Ego not in the psychological way, but rather in that it is your human identity. The Ego, by its very nature, is separate from. Our bodies offer us the human experience of feeling separated from others, from events, from everything. Then, to add to the confusion, our minds take in what we see and believe that its real.
Oh boy. What a mess.
So, how do I know? Here's my litmus test: if I'm not at peace, then I'm in illusion. Sounds so simple, but it is so not easy. Right now, I feel sad. I'm watching my only brother make a huge mistake, and am powerless to help because he won't listen. So, I'm doing the one and only thing I can do: stepping back and allowing him to make the mistake no matter what the consequences. The truth is that he's an adult and he is on his own path, just like me and everyone else. My Ego is trying to make me feel like I have the right to impose my beliefs on him in the form of warnings. I feel at peace only when I completely detach from his drama, and focus on my own life instead.
Still, I wish that it was easier done than said. It's the doing that gets me in trouble. Maybe I'll do better tomorrow.