I have an ego. A nice, cheap and refurbished one in good condition.
And yes, I'm proud to have one. I've been without one, lost nearly all traces of it. Killed, choked it, sacrificed it at the altar of love & togetherness. Apologized for what wasn't my fault, forgave without apologies, silenced my self respect and cut off my ego from my life.
And that nearly was the end of me.
I couldn't survive. Because here's the thing - the world isn't always fair. Life's a bitch and it shows its true colours. It criticizes without reason and often without gain. To keep your course through that minefield of criticism requires a tough skin and a crumple zone. An ego is the crumple zone for your real self. It stands up to the world, in your stead. Takes a few dents, but nothing permanent.
Building myself back up from nearly nothing, there was my ego, leading the charge. Driving me, pushing me to do things I'd never done before, channeling my Id into the useful. Everything accomplished was an ego boost. Every failure hurt, but every failure challenged.
An ego strong enough to repel the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, from the inner sanctum of your self and spirit. Something to keep the material world out of the spiritual, something with an edge to cut my path through the world.
There's that bright light within my eyes again. A smile on my lips and a spring in my step. And screams that it is here to stay, till death do us part. But there's balance. Between me, my ego and my Id, I'm ambitious, curious and cautious all at the same time.
In a mirror, I see me. And I smile.--
The ego is not master in its own house.
-- Sigmund Freud