Justin Ricklefs


Step Out of the Shadows

“Is the motivation from love or ego?”

Her direct question had me squirming. I’d just finished spending a precious chunk of the counseling session essentially asking if I was going to be OK.

Entrepreneurship, maybe more than anything else besides marriage and parenting, has exposed deep stuff within me that has always been in there, it was just cozy hiding way under the surface.

Identity issues.

Fear issues.

Scarcity issues.

Leadership issues.

Wellness issues.

Failure issues.

Pain issues.

Ego issues.

Shadow issues.

Growth opportunities.

It’s a tricky thing, when you feel like you’re doing something with the best of intentions, but the deeper currents of your motivation are hiding out in the shadows.

For me at least, it’s hard to even see them until later, when the light floods in through self-reflection, journaling, or conversations with the few people who know me best.

And then there’s that, ‘ah, there it is again’ awareness.

The shadowlands of ego, fear, misplaced identity, and misplaced attachment lurk around, ready to hijack the light, goodness, and love.

And perhaps, the answer is never so simple, never so black and white, and always is a messy mix of love and ego, hope and fear, security and scarcity.

But like light and love always do, an ever-increasing amount of them, eventually drown out the shadows the ego likes to keep us hiding behind.

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