How Your Ego Masks Pain with Pleasure

Do you remember that last week we talked about the reason why you went into Time Out in the first place? Most of you entered Time Out because you were knocked down or wounded… and you went to Time Out to heal.

Or maybe you fell in love, and that is another type of softening, where you take off your armor and lay down your sword to become soft so that you can nurture another being. Any time you are soft, you are vulnerable to your feelings. That’s part of the beauty of being wounded. But it’s also part of the price of being wounded— is that you feel pain.

As soon as you enter Time Out, your ego, my favorite friend, rushes in to save you from feeling pain. The way your ego does that is to mask pain with pleasure.

Please write that in your journal and play the video for a short 3-step exercise to discover who you became in Time Out.


The reason I entered Time Out is because I had a broken dream. At that time, women were not allowed to be preachers. As soon as you enter Time Out, your ego— like a good nurse— will rush in to soothe your wounds. Your ego will put a big ole band-aide on top of your owie. When I couldn’t be a preacher… my ego rushed in to offer me a consolation prize, “Hey hey hey— don’t cry.

Okay. Here. You can be this instead, okay?”

My ego placed this alternative identity over my broken dream to make me forget what was giving me pain… and to make me focus on… what will give me pleasure. And.. it really worked. I must say— the ego has a ton of fantastic ideas.

I mean, I felt so much better as soon as I traded in my bible for a bikini. Instead of old men on the pulpit condemning me for wanting to be a preacher— I had young men on the surf breaks pampering me into a princess. I gave my ego a high give for putting me in Time Out. Why did I not think of this sooner?

That’s what you’re gonna think when you take that first shot of tequila, that first hit of weed, go on that first rebound date after a breakup, stretch out on the couch for 6 months— it’s gonna feel so good to be in Time Out. You are gonna forget why you even tried to make it out there in the wilderness. Heck! You could’ve been in Camp Eden this whole time!

I got my first band-aide in Time Out. I luv me my band-aide. What started out as a band-aide— became my identity.

For years, I was a beach bum in a blue bikini. It wasn’t my true identity. It was my mask. It was a mask that I was using to cover up who I truly am underneath. Your mask will help you survive in a cruel world.

Remember Mulan?

Remember the Chinese princess who had to pretend she was a boy to fight in the army? She had to hide that she was a girl. When you have to hide who you are in order to survive in this world your ego will help. Your ego is the queen of drag.

Baby, if you need a good mask, heavy makeup and a wig— you can always call on your ego.

One day, just like Mulan, I wanted to stop pretending and hiding who I really am, inside. But I wasn’t ready to go back out into the wilderness where I was just gonna get slaughtered again.

Enter Nurse Ego. She’s like, Babe, I got something for you.

You don’t want— superficial, silly, escapism— you want meaning, purpose, and depth, yes?

I’m like, “yeah yeah”

Nurse Ego was like, “You’re not quite ready for preacher again, am I right?”

I’m like, “No. No. Not preacher. I mean look at my soul— that gurl’s wings are dead. Broken. She will never fly again. Let’s go for something that can get airborne— but doesn’t necessarily need to fly solo— hey, maybe a soul tribe?”

Nurse Ego is like, ‘Got it!”

Where you have a lot of support— not like when you were in church fighting the patriarchy all by yourself as a lone revolutionary— but where you have an entire community fighting the Good Fight with you.

I was like, ‘Yes. Nurse Ego, you are amazing. 5 stars on your Yelp review!”

Taro farmer in Hawaii

So then I was adopted by a family of native Hawaiians. For 8 years, I was a taro farmer. It was the most beautiful band-aide, I’ve ever had in my life. It was so special and real and full of love. I mean the way they make band-aides these days— the spiritual and emotional technology is so up-to-date— it’s incredible.

I loved this band-aide. Loved it! It became my new identity. A mask that covered up every inch of my broken dream.


A good mask is like make-up. I love make-up. Love, love, love it. The problem with make-up is that you have to re-apply it every day. Because it wears off— and you start to see what you really look like, underneath. No matter how much I loved being a taro farmer it was never enough.

When your ego is the queen of drag— there’s never enough make-up. There’s no such thing as too much make-up.

Time Alone

I started leaving my taro patch and started living in monasteries. That was my next mask— or my next identity— that I was using to cover up who I really am inside— and who I really am inside, looked just like my broken dream.

Let me say this. Your masks have to get bigger and bigger and better and better. One, because you age out of them. And two, because your wound— over time— will also get bigger and bigger the longer you ignore it and don’t heal it. The band-aide doesn’t heal your wound. It covers it up.

Executive coach

So I got another identity that was bigger and better— I became an executive coach. There! The band-aide of all band-aides. The mask to out-do all other masks. This one was it. My final mask.

This mask made me feel l like it was okay that I never got to fulfill my dream of being a preacher. You know what? I’m doing this instead.

Pleasure— even spiritual pleasure— makes you forget.

I forgot… about my broken dream, because I had replaced it with five other things.

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