Ego, Heart, and the Reality of Relationships in Fiction: a Novel Examination
(Mike DePung — Post II.28)
“Challenges come; Challenges go; Heart-truth remains! Meet challenges with Heart!” Yeah, I wrote that a couple nights ago as an Instagram post. I like it better than the article I did that night. It was the theme of my whole evening’s writing.
The night before that I wrote “Faith and Love — Not just internal beliefs! Work your Faith to Live your Love.” I’m sharing these things here because they apply to my Morning Pages this morning, which was based on my reading of the new section of my novel, The Fellowship of the Heart.
In the novel, Eric and Anne Lafarnge, the central couple, are at a point of reconciliation in their relationship. This revision includes twelve brand new chapters, 25,000 words, created at the beginning of the novel. Originally, I had them experiencing spiritual awakening almost simultaneously. This was one major observation my editor had and suggested it needed to change — positive, productive feedback.
The concept of their coming to know core Self at different times created conflict, developed characters, and enhanced plot development. (Thanks Andrew Doty, www.editwright.com—brilliant, talented man if you need professional editorial services!). Eric examines the whisperings of his Heart and discontent with his life. He faces his lack of understanding about a traumatizing childhood event before he first comes to respond to his Heart. This creates conflict with the one person he believed would understand it all, but Anne, with her natural leadership abilities and acquired expertise as a structural engineer, does not understand at all.
Eric hears and heeds his Heart, allows Heart to function as his primary operating system as he comes to know that this eternal, spiritual part of his being has been working throughout his life to bring him to an understanding of who he is and what he chooses to be about. Ego, as it so often does, seeks to intervene through rationalizations of why he needs to accept the offer of a partnership at his law firm.
Conflict arises with Anne when she is named as the first female senior associate at her engineering company, supported strongly by the firm’s founder. She believes Eric’s introversion as he explores the internal conflict of Ego and Heart to be selfish and damaging to their relationship. It seems as if both had been heading for bigger and better things, but Eric’s refusal of the partnership appears weak and immature to Anne. Their relationship is, thereby, threatened.
So what? Well, that will be interesting reading for you, I hope. However, the so what for tonight is this. Relationships are tricky in many ways, especially close, intimate ones. And they become trickier when one has begun relating to everything in the world through the motive force of Heart while the other is still using the default Ego operating system. When Heart becomes that primary life operating system and filter, everything looks different, but that doesn’t change circumstances.
How do we relate to others, then? These are generalizations, but sometimes such generalizations help us to understand life, although they are NOT ultimate, personal truth. Under the Ego operating system, we often look to others to fulfill us, help us reach our goals, realize our dreams, give us love and acceptance and peace. And when things don’t go well, we blame them. Or sometimes, Ego will tell us we’re not worthy of such and we need to change to meet their expectations. So, we’re either trying to find significance and satisfaction in the Other, or we’re trying to make ourselves acceptable to them. Sometimes, the other is angered or depressed and saddened by others because we don’t find our “all” in them. Either way, Ego seeks to find acceptance and significance in others.
In the novel Anne, believes that her happiness and the fulfillment of both her and Eric depends on his acceptance of a partnership. That would make them equal in going through the same sorts of experiences at the same time, and she believes it would offer them more power and control and wealth in their lives. Eric, however, has known some different emotions and thoughts.
As Eric comes to hear his Heart and evaluate his life in that light, he knows his decisions and life are based on his creation. Ego is deflected through his choices to live his core Self as being a voice of justice for those without a voice in a corrupt legal system, which he knows he will not be able to do as a partner. Conflict.
My point tonight is this: Others’ behaviors, especially those with whom I have any sort of relationship, should not affect the Purpose, Vision, or Mission I develop in response to and fellowship with my Heart.
Good relationships are based on the soul-mind-body complex operating through the motive force of Heart. I apply this use of Heart as a filter to all aspects of life, and since relationships are a most basic aspect, I definitely would like to reflect the contrast of Ego and Heart through Eric and Anne. Relationships should, under Heart-energy, enhance the experience of both in their personal connections to Heart and the Universe.
It really isn’t about what I get from another and what the Other gets from me. It’s about how the relationship enhances our relationship to Self, Spirit, and the Universe. It should feel good and produce peace and happiness for both. Relationships should be natural and without Ego games to control, manipulate, and profit from another — at any level. How much does this speak to almost every sort of relationship in the world? Yes, that’s a big question.
Relationships allow Spirit to experience physical creation; they allow individuals to experience significance, fulfillment, and happiness, happiness, happiness. I apply the Heart and Ego conflict, then, as a filter to all aspects of life, and since relationships are a most basic aspect, I definitely would like to reflect through Eric and Anne the contrast of what had been an Ego-powered relationship vs. a Heart-powered one. (Yes, parts of these last two paragraphs are from my Morning Pages today!)
The truths and realities of living according to Heart should be a practical, daily reality for us.
Blessings in your relationships!