If you are free from ego, then you are being yourself. Being free from ego is not something that has to happen after years of meditation. You can be free of ego right now.
Recognising any egoic behaviour and becoming free of ego are the same thing. The moment you become aware of your thoughts or emotions, you break your identification with them. They may still be there, but you will no longer identify with them.
Awareness Sets You Free From Ego
Watch your thoughts and emotions. Observe them without judgement. Once a judgement of a thought or emotion comes in, or any resistance to what is occurring within you arises, then the ego has returned, pretending to be you again.
When you observe your inner state, observing your own mind in silent detachment, the ego begins to dissolve all by itself.
This is counter intuitive to the ego and will not make sense to your mind. Your mind may say that something has to be done, analysed or revisited if you are to free yourself from a particular thought or emotion. This is not the case.
Just through non-judgemental awareness, a silent watching or listening from within, automatically a gap arises between the thought (or emotion) and the one observing it - you. This begins to break the identification between you and your thinking mind….you are becoming more conscious and free.
Tools to increase your awareness and state of inner peace include awareness of your breath and awareness of your inner energy field. These keep you rooted in the present moment and able to remain conscious. Also see Part 3 of this article - Recognising Egoic Behaviour to see what patterns to look out for in yourself and others.
As the ego dissolves through your own conscious awareness, what you are left with is who you are - pure consciousness. Being in touch with this dimension of yourself leaves you with a feeling of inner peace.
It may be subtle at first, but as you practice awareness, acceptance (non-resistance) and non-judgement you will find your inner peace becoming stronger and your suffering and mental-emotional turbulence becoming less. As you go further into it, you experience deep unmovable feelings of peace, joy, love and oneness with all. This is your natural state of being. You gradually, or suddenly become free from ego.