“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them”-Tolkien, Lord of the Rings
Have you heard of Sméagol? In the famous Tolkien books Sméagol is a hobbit who, through a severe case of ring-envy, ends up transforming into Gollum. A warped shadow of his former self. You might have heard of him. His kindov a big deal.
Though the ring has caused Gollum to be visibly & internally hideous, he still misses his long-held wooby. The ring. His precious. Poor Gollum is plagued by a bit of unnatural ring lust throughout the movies. He is constantly trying to get it back from our hero hobbit, Frodo.
But what strikes me is that there is still a bit of Sméagol hanging out in the wings. This goodness shows itself when Gollum protects his new friend Frodo, who believes in him (all appearances to the contrary).
My ego is my inner Gollum. My pride it’s precious, squishy part that speaks to my hidden insecurities and judgement. When someone accidentally touches on these vulnerabilities….Out pops the Gollum! Snarling its ugly teeth at whoever dared wake the bear.
My Gollum holds onto it’s pride like the precious ring, hesitatant to learn or change. And why does this happen? Because being vulnerable is scary.
Pride is like a roommate that has lived with us for ages. It often defines us. Sometimes, some pretty gnarly ways.
The good news is that once I am done hoarding the treasure-that-is-not the remnant good Sméagol is always there. Waiting to save the day.
Reminding me that we can always find the best of us behind the mirage. That we can give up the ring of pride and find hope in a better tomorrow.
After all (spoiler altert) they did finally destroy the ring in the fires of Mordor. Though even our hero had trouble letting it go. And then they came into the light. The light of a new dawn.
Let go of your precious, when you can, dear friends. And if it rolls back to you once and awhile, so be it. Release it again. If your ego holds onto pride, be aware of the feeling and let it go. The flame of our redemption is always waiting-again and again.
Our pride does not define us. It moves us. To be better versions of ourselves than we have yet discovered. To be our bestest Sméagol ever.