I had set out for my retrospective stroll through the day as I usually did at around the time when sleep hasn't quite shown up yet but is clearly fast approaching. When the eyelids are drooping but still prepared to box on for a bit.

It had become a source of comfort to me this review of the day. An opportunity to round up any niggles that might tap me on the shoulder during the night, demanding answers and disturbing my sleep. I would encourage them into my overnight filing cabinet, the night safe as it were, see them settled comfortably then firmly close the door knowing they would not bother me again until I let them out in the morning. Then my eyelids would put their feet up, turn out the light and hand over to sleep who had by now arrived ready for a full nights work.

On this particular evening I'd almost completed the circumnavigation of my mind - everything seemed quietly satisfactory and I was cheerfully into the home stretch when something caught my attention. A movement up ahead of me, very slight and hardly discernible, and it brought with it a touch of uneasiness that wafted across my mind like a shadow. Nothing substantial, nothing definite, nothing more than a whiff really but it had about it a feeling of surreptitious, a touch of the sly. Cautiously I stuck my head round the corner, feeling a little bit sheepish, wondering if I had imagined it, if it was perhaps all in my mind so to speak.

And there he was. Like a nosy neighbour peeking through the curtains, the mist of his breath still on the pane where he had his nose pressed up against the window of my mind. He'd twitched the curtains a little to one side, presumably for a better view, and it must have been the movement that had caught my attention. I couldn't see him clearly as he was not much more than a shadowy outline, a shifty looking darkness, muttering to himself as his head worked itself this way and that, obviously looking for something. Or someone. Me?

Suddenly he spun round, he must have sensed my presence or felt my approach. We were face to face and in that instant, in one of those intense flashes of clarity and certainty, in one of those moments that are outside of the usual movement of time, I understood that I was looking at my ego. Caught in a situation that was as bizarre as it was surreal we were transfixed by the sight of each other, poised in an unnatural rigidity like rabbits captured in the headlights of an approaching car. Somehow though I must have been able to summon up another part of my mind because I found myself flashing through all the data I had on ego in an attempt to find out what was going on and to regain control of the situation.

I had never really given ego a lot of thought. Like most people I knew that ego was me, that he was my I, we were the one and same, tied in to a lifetime contract. I appreciate him providing me with my sense of I and an awareness of who I am in the physical sense. He lets me know where my body begins and ends and what it is up to. For example, if I should bump into somebody in the street I can extricate myself graciously. I know without having to think about it, which bits are mine and which bits belong to the bumpee or the bumper whichever is the case. We can go our separate ways comfortable in the knowledge that we are not dangling an extra arm or leg, or indeed have a hand or toe missing.

This saves so much time and neatly takes care of what would otherwise become extremely messy and totally unmanageable situations. Because of my ego my lungs know when it's appropriate to breathe in and when it's best to breathe out, I know when to blink and how to swallow at just the right moment and a million other things which I must admit I had simply taken for granted.

But then this was egos job, his reason for being, after all without me he would not exist, I offered him his livelihood, his only job opportunity. However this encounter had the sniff of something altogether different, something outside of his mandate. Whatever it was that was going on here it wasn't right, clearly ego was up to something and I knew I would have to deal with it, but I had the disquieting feeling that I might already be too late. My instincts were tugging urgently at my sleeve, pulling me towards a conclusion I didn't want to meet. But there it was huge on the path in front of me, unavoidable, inescapable - ego had slipped out of my control, he was leading a life of his own and had taken my identity for himself. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . !!! To be continued?

Author's Bio: 

Beverley Stewart is author of Design A Life, part of the Creating Freedom personal development program which can be found at http://www.creatingfreedom.com