Discussion with Dr. Lexx: How to Balance the Ego
On his 16th birthday, Dr. Apples’ mother was kidnapped by fairies and replaced with a doll. Each year on his birthday, he’s presented a doll, which has his mother’s essence. He’s travelled to various planets, dimensions, and realms, questioned, tortured, and pried his way for clues. He’s on a mission to find his mother.
Welcome to the Dr. Apples Universe.
Our host, Lacye A. Brown, is the creator, visual artist, and producer of the Dr Apples Universe (she’s also one of Dr Apples’ assistants).
In this episode of Talk About Apples, Lacye talks to Dr. Lexx James (also known as Dr. Lexx). She is a certified sexologist, licensed marriage and family therapist, founder of the Institute for Sexuality and Intimacy, and best-selling author.
Today, they talk about the purpose of the Dr. Apples character and the theme of “The Ego” from Chapter 1.
Dr. Lexx tells us a bit about identifying an unbalanced ego and the steps you could take if you have discovered it an imbalance in your own ego (check out the Johari Window, it is an amazing starting point to discover your sense of self).
Topics discussed in the show
· [01:59] About Lacye
· [08:12] About Doctor Apples
· [11:21] Introducing Dr. Lexx
· [13:22] Defining the Ego
· [14:24] The three types of Ego
· [16:56] Dr Apples’ ego in Chapter 1
· [22:39] Signs of an unbalanced Ego
· [29:00] How to rectify an unchecked Ego
· [31:09] Healing through writing
· [33:10] What can you (the listener) do to work on an unbalanced Ego?
If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe, leave your comments, and share it everywhere!
For more information, check out the links below.
Dr Lexx’s Book: https://www.amazon.com/These-Eyes-This-Nose-Vulva/dp/1727132610
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/thedrapplesSupport the show
NEWSLETTER & WORKSHEET
[Intro] Lacie: On his 16th birthday, Dr. Apple's mother was kidnapped by fairies and replaced with a doll. Each year on his birthday he's presented a doll which has his mother's essence. He's traveled through various planets, dimensions, realms, questioned, tortured, and pride his way for clues he's on a mission to find his mother. Welcome to the Dr. Apples Universe. Hello, my name is Lacie. I'm the host creator, visual artists and producer, and welcome to Talk About Apples, the podcast. This is the discussion portion. This is the folklore of the fictional character, Dr. Apples and his universe. It's filled with fantasy, humor and powerful magic. So, enjoy. Thank you for being here. I'm so excited. This is the discussion portion. On this episode, I'm going to discuss the purpose of the character, Dr. Apples, along with the theme from episode one. The theme we're discussing will be the ego. For the discussion, I have the pleasure of having Dr. Lexx to discuss her input along with methods on how to balance that ego. But before all of that, I'm going to take a moment to tell you a bit about myself and what makes me so frigging qualified to tell the tale of this wacky doctor.
Now about me. So, my name is Lacie. I am one of the personal assistants to Dr. Apples. Again, I'm the creator, visual artist, producer, and almost everything of the Dr. Apples Universe. I was born and raised in the South portion of the United States of America. I've been a visual artist all my life. Art has been my first love and has been a resource towards healing for me growing up through the years. I sculpt I paint, write so, all that good stuff. I have a busy and creative mind, and I like to use it. I'm a single mother of three wonderful kids from a previous marriage. They're my motivation when I don't have much gas left in me and they're pretty awesome peps. So, I mean, I vouch for them. I like them. They're good. You'll like them too. I hit a really dark time during my divorce. During that time, I was at my lowest of those and I stopped doing art. Then I had a spiritual awakening. We can dive deeper into that topic later, but to surmise a spiritual awakening marks the beginning, or an initiation of your spiritual path. It comes with questioning purpose, nature, rejecting, past living and craving a higher state of being. It comes with a lot of symptoms as sensitivities and signings. You're growing into the best form of yourself but it comes with a lot of hard work to put it lightly. I'll list a link from lonerwolf.com to explain further if you're interested. So, with this spiritual path it struck a curiosity within me to learn as much information possible about the metaphysical world through a spiritual perspective. So, for five plus years, I joined alternative meetup groups. I've read, learn about pendulums, hoodoo, which led to teaching classes for others to grow spiritually. I'm a Usui and Karuna Reiki master Reiki is a Japanese form of alternative medicine or energy healing. Reiki means spiritually guided life force energy. I received my menarche rights a few years ago, these are nine empowerment rights of initiation to become a person of wisdom and power. It's from the KIRO shamans of Peru. Monache means energy of love. I have a link on the transcript about Monache from the four winds society.
So, I'm a strong proponent of mental and spiritual healing is not discussed a lot. If at all, in American culture. I'm certain you can see or hear an ad focused on materialism and instant gratification frequently. They run rapid and I believe in having more than just superficial things, I believe in balance. Having peace with past and present pains, is imperative to having a healthy present and future for yourself and those around you. So, because of this journey, I created a company called LAD Shaman, where I focused on creating healing supplies and performing distant healing. I did that for a few years, but during that time, I still felt a void. With the spiritual journey, taking me around the world and back I miss art you know, I miss my first love. So, I left a job that was too stressful for my mental health and this gave me an opportunity to link up with an oddity store in Decatur, United States, they were having a Halloween art show. For this show I created a three-foot sculptural piece. That sculpture was Dr. Apples a witch doctor I'd imagined creating years before, but I just never got to it.
So, during the art show, people were curious about my character's backstory and I didn't have one. This prompted me to develop one for him. Thus, the Dr. Apples universe was created and I loved it simply because I could integrate all my life's lessons, journeys, the art and creativity into a beautiful package. So, through my life experiences, I became fascinated with various forms of healers and their cultures. The methods and the power behind why they were able to heal at the time of the art show. I was focused on which doctors, just simply because they were revered as scary and that fascinated me. I'm certain many were misrepresented or misunderstood. Perhaps this was the perfect storm for the creation of Dr. Apples. So, in the podcast, I played the narrator, one of Dr. Apple's personal assistants. The narrator is just recapping past stories of Dr. Apples life. So enough about me. Now let's take a moment to discuss that wacky, witch doctor.
Dr. Apples: Who's sponsoring us today, Lacie?
Lacie: Well, our sponsor today is us. Simply because the entire reason the podcast is this is due to the Dr. Apples book titled Dr. Apples, the origin, the eye, and the journey. Simply visit www.dr. Apples.com to purchase your own physical copy. And I do believe the author may be able to sign it. I don't know. I'll ask him.
Dr. Apples: Ooh, buy it.
Lacie: But hurry up and get you a physical copy because supplies are definitely limited. So enough about me before we get into our talks with Dr. Lexx, let's now take a moment to discuss that wacky Dr. Apples. So, the purpose of the doctor Apple's character is the fact that he represents his authentic self with no excuses flaws and all. I want it to have a character who broke a lot of stereotypes. Dr. Apples is a six-foot black man with locks or dreadlocks. He has a Brown right eye and a grayish white left eye. He's highly intelligent and ostentatious dresser and a bit of an asshole and a very powerful witch doctor. He has no shame in that. He appears to be in his late thirties, but he's actually 96 years old. He's asexual and accepting of all people instead of for fairies and witches, witches are competition. He us all about living a fulfilling life while chasing after one's goals. He has incredible strength and shows unconditional love to those who are close to him.
And he's also a little bat shit crazy at times, but you didn't hear that from men. He's a complex character as he has a lot of inner struggles with the disappearance of his mother and deciphering who's at fault for her disappearance. Like many people, Dr. Apples is on his own unique spiritual journey. I want to showcase this. Although every spiritual journey is different. I don't want to focus on the doom and gloom and the negative aspects of the spiritual path. No, no. I like to review the unfortunate instances as current lessons or lessons learned. I want us to find the humor in it all so we can heal and grow. You know, the saying when life gives you lemons, make margaritas. That's what the saying is. So, stick with the same. That's what the saying is. Throughout the story, you'll learn more about him. And if you didn't love him already, you will shortly. Don't worry about that. So now, without further ado, let's discuss the important theme within episode one. You know that ego.
Imagine if you had magical abilities and it feels like the world is at the palm of your hands, forget any issues or social media bills. You're about to open the secrets of the life. Everything seems magical. You're smart and you know it, you're powerful and you know it. All is wonderful. Then without notice your best friend, your protector, your only friend, your mother is kidnapped. What would you do? Could you have prevented this? Was this your fault? And now it's the moment you've been waiting for. My guest created the Institute for sexuality and intimacy. She's a certified sexologist, licensed marriage and family therapist in the state of Missouri. She combines therapy and education to create a well-rounded experience and also to conquer taboo topics. Her therapy work helps people heal from relationship distance, intimacy challenges, depression, anxiety, grief, and trauma. It's her mission to deliver sex positive, comprehensive, gender expansive, Addie positivity, culturally diverse, queer, and trans inclusive, medically accurate shame-free sex education. Not only that, she's the best-selling author for a book. I feel every parent should own. I have it. The book is titled, these are my eyes. This is my nose. This is my vulva. These are my toes. It's a book to help children of all genders and their caregivers to normalize body parts. I've known her for quite some time. I'm so proud of her. And let me tell you, her heart is bigger than her smile. What a pleasure to have here, Dr. Lexx James also known as Dr. Lexx. So welcome Dr. Lexx.
Dr. Lexx: Hello.
Lacie: So, I'm so glad that you're here. So, Dr. Lexx, here, we have a rather egotistical magical teen in episode one, Teen Dr. Apples. So, I just wanted to quickly define the ego for listener just simply from dictionary.com. The I or self of any person, a person as thinking, feeling, and willing and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of thought. A person's sense of self-esteem or self-importance. So, the ego is a wonderful attribute, but can often be overused and obviously by teen Dr. Apples. So, Dr. Lexx, could you explain to someone like myself who comprehends the definition of ego, but what does that mean? Or how does my ego affect my everyday life?
Dr. Lexx: Oh, well one great question and then two, thanks for having me. I'm super excited. In talking about ego I'm going to explain it the way it was explained to me many, many moons ago regarding Sesame street characters and a little bit of Muppet babies. Okay? So, stick with me here, the ego, which people often misname and think about it as pride isn't exactly what we're talking about, right? People are like, put your ego aside when they really do mean put your pride aside. Ego is actually split into three forms. So, we have the id, ID, the ego, EGO, and the super ego. So, imagine ego in a cape. So, your ID like cookie monster, right? I see cookies, cookie cookies. Mm, mmm, num, num, num, num, num, num. Right? And that is exactly what the ID is. It is, I see something, I wanted, I go get it. It is pleasure centered. It is all for self. There is no giving up and sacrificing for others in the ID. It's really what you think of when you think of maybe like toddlers, for instance, it's all about them and they're the ones who are most important they're the ones who matter. So that's your ID it's cookie monster. Now your super ego is more like Bert, right from the Muppet babies. And Bert is like, uh-huh Ernie don't do that. It's not the way we do that. Nope. Bert, like you don't have to control everything, but Bert really over controls everything to try and make sure that everything goes right. Then the ego would be Kermit the frog. So, Kermit, the frog is the producer. He is the one backstage and making sure everybody's needs are met and trying to balance a Cookie Monster and a Bert. So, it's right in the middle of saying, okay, we can have some of these cookies and we're going to make sure we brush our teeth and maybe take a walk so our bodies feel good too. So, Kermit is trying to negotiate in balance that super ego, which also can be highly critical and that ID, which just gives into all desires, no matter how healthy, unhealthy, or beneficial they are for yourself. So those are the three types of egos that we like to talk about.
Lacie: So, could you explain what state is teen Dr. Apples in currently based off of that episode one.
Dr. Lexx: Oh, I love tees. I love teens. They're actually one of my favorite groups of people. I know that sounds strange for a lot of folks who are like, what? Teens get such a bad rap, but they're absolutely so amazing.
Lacie: They are.
Dr. Lexx: You don't realize about teens is that the part of their brain that says, I want to have fun and do what I want. It's much larger than the part of their brain that has rational reasoning, right? The brain actually doesn't finish maturing until around 27, we used to think it was 25. It's 27. So teen Dr. Apples comes in with all of these powers, like who didn't want powers when they were teenager. And of course, it's like, oh my gosh, you know, my mom is missing and something's up and I have these powers, what am I going to do? How am I going to do this? This is really cool. And that's where he's supposed to be in development as well, because that's how he's developing. He's still learning this rationale and prioritizing and all of that stuff.
Lacie: Nice. I didn't even know.
Dr. Lexx: Yeah.
Lacie: So, for me, from my perspective, I was taught just through different spiritual practices about the ego of being pretty powerful. Like I essentially stated like his ego isn't developed all the way and it's pretty interesting because my focus during that scene was teen. Dr. Apples was just willing to accept the fact that he was so special and he was just going crazy and willing to cave into these thoughts versus looking at the bigger picture, because it took him all day to realize that his mother was missing and something was wrong. He was so focused on himself. I feel as though that that was a missed opportunity for him perhaps hypothetically, he could have prevented this or, you know, it could have been a different outcome having not been so focused on himself and just willing to accept the craziest, even though it's slightly true, but the craziest reasonings versus what was right in front of him. So, would you state that or would you think or consider that currently, Dr. Apples has some form of like an unbalanced ego. I mean, since it's not developed yet but his is pretty extreme.
Dr. Lexx: Agreed. And so, it's funny is, at Dr. Apple's age, right? So as a teenager, a younger teenager at that, right? So, Dr. Apples is not 19 turning 20. Dr. Apples is those school age in adolescents and psychologically. 12 to 19 is a developmental stage that we call identity versus confusion. And what that means is you start to understand that there's like a complexity of life and you start to look at what's logical around the aesthetics. And the most important thing about this stage is that you're learning the virtue of fidelity and fidelity literally means the faithfulness to a person or to a belief, or being able to demonstrate continued loyalty and support to somebody. Right? So, we see Dr. Apples loyalty and support or to himself until he realizes, Oh, snap my mamas.
Dr. Lexx: Oh, right? Because for teenagers, especially when they have that undimmable. So, the unique perspective, I'm the only me and I'm also, what's the word when they don't succumb to anything when they are not able to die or that idea that they can just like outlive and do anything daring because they don't have that sense of mortality yet. Like, this is the stage that Dr. Apples is in. So, his ego is actually right on course, even though to others, it's going to look like it's very consuming.
Lacie: I see. So, in a sense. It's understandable.
Dr. Lexx: Right. Right. Hi ID is pretty large and he is doing this force. I really can't think of this word. He really is thinking of the fact that... Invincible he's invincible, nothing can touch him and that is a sense of youth before knees start popping and back starts to ache, it's I'm invincible. And then you throw magic powers on top of that, the swag, can you imagine?
Dr. Lexx: So now, I'm not worried about my mama. I'm like, this looks a little bit odd, but I'm going to go about my business today. Oh, this is also strange. And yet that logical persistence doesn't necessarily exist for him yet because he's still developing those skills.
Lacie: Understandable. So, Dr. Lexx, what would be a sign of an unbalanced ego for, I would say someone in their late twenties or early thirties? So, I'm a bit curious about that age range.
Dr. Lexx: So late twenties, early thirties are usually when we're looking at people starting to build intimacy, or they go into isolation, right? This is typically a time when people start to be social at work or social at school, starting to maybe have serious dating relationships, whoever they're dating. So, assign that the ego is unbalanced. There would be a lot of, I don't want to say self-centeredness, self-absorption. So, everything is about self we've all probably met those people, right? Where they only talk about themselves. Or even if you bring something up, they bring something up in relation of themselves, not for closeness, but so the conversation can shift back to them, right? So, we start to see that, Oh, you're not taking care of me but you're also abandoning me and everything is so much me centered. And then on that flip side, we see perfectionism, right? So, people who are highly critical of anybody who goes against whatever set rules that that person has decided, and not just for them, but for all of society. Well, this is the way I do it. So, this is the way that everybody else should do it, because this is the way that's the best. That is an unchecked ego. Like, well, no, you know, you can cut paper hearts, a bunch of different ways. I just choose it this way. Well, you're wrong. Like I don't know if I want to be your friend anymore. I'm good. Right? Let's end the state now, but that's a sign that ego is much, much, much bigger and out of control then you might want to deal with.
Lacie: Yeah. I tell people I said, there's more than one way to boil an egg. And they're like, what?
Dr. Lexx: There you go.
Lacie: I'm like, once you figure that out, you'll figure it out life. Okay.
Dr. Lexx: Right, right. Like, are you salting the water or not like, what are you doing? Do you only boil it? And like, let it boil and then turn the water off and just let it cook the rest of the way. Or do you like really soft-boiled eggs? There's a bunch of different ways to boil eggs. So, you're exactly right.
Lacie: Different ways to boil an egg. So, I'm interested in someone who is in their mid-thirties and, or, and or older. Are the signs different for an unbalanced ego at different ages, or...?
Dr. Lexx: You're going to see as people progress, they get more savvy in their behavior. So, the consumption of ego often can look like a narcissist.
Dr. Lexx: Right. So, somebody who is getting all of their needs met, who's using emotional, maybe even physical manipulation just for them to be pleased because it pleases them and they are the most important all of the time. It's not in relationship where it's given and take or there's flexible boundaries. It's all about that person feeling okay. And I would say that's probably mid-thirties to late sixties and seventies around late sixties and seventies. When we start to see that unchecked ego and that unbalanced ego people start to reflect on their lives. And as they start to reflect on their lives, they're going to realize they either generated something amazing throughout their life, or they're going to be really bitter at the fact that they present a lot of their choices and are pretty lonely, that they weren't productive, that they didn't do anything great. Now, a narcissist who lives that long will blame other people saying, well, like, you know, having my kid preventing me from doing this or having this worker prevented me from doing this, and that's why I couldn't grow it, wasn't them. It wasn't me. It was them. That is what an age-old narcissist with do as the reviewing their lives and productivity. And so that's what you also look out for as, you know, older folks are dating and also getting together and spending time together. So is this person able to say like, yes, I own, this is my mistake and this is what I generated in my life and I'm satisfied with that.
Lacie: Right. Like accountability. I have a side question because so for me, like in terms of unbalanced ego. I would think like, you know, it has to do with accountability. And I noticed a lot of people can make excuses. I, myself, I mean, I check myself a lot and I'm like, Whoa, whoa, whoa, like, let's change that bad habit. I would think making excuses the go-to resolution for everything happening to you versus not accepting accountability, like say your significant other dumps you and you state, he'll never find another person like that. Or a friend is likes you and you're like, they're just jealous. And or you didn't get the promotion. It was like, it's because she was pretty, you know there may or may not be some truth behind that, but is that a sign of an unbalanced ego or is that something else?
Dr. Lexx: The minimizing part of looking at hard things. I would say that might be some defensiveness. I don't know if that's part of an unbalanced ego. I think that's to protect the ego. Right? People do that to say, like, it's not me, it's that my personhood who is wrong and who is bad, so they don't feel shame. So, they throw up those defenses to try and protect their personhood, their ethos, and like, no, well, it could have been this, this and this. Now my ego isn't jeopardized the, now the person I see myself as is it any less because I didn't change this thing.
Lacie: Okay. I gotcha. I gotcha. Okay. So, let's say that I'm listening and I'm like, okay. You know, yes, I will identify this issue listening to this and I have a problem maybe. So now what? So how does one rectify this issue?
Dr. Lexx: Therapy, one, Yeah. Excuse me. It can help. But the second thing is I really, really love for people to have that check-in person, right? If you're building significant, intimate, vulnerable relationships. When I say intimate, I don't just mean like intercourse in ways. I mean, being able to take emotional risks with another person and that be successful and fulfilling, being able to also be a respite for another person where it's not just about you and you're not performing.
Dr. Lexx: I think those are really key factors in building up empathy and closeness, that help de-center ego when it's so, so present.
LaCie: Got it. And I would think if you can't find someone to check in that, of course therapy is like definitely the go-to method.
Dr. Lexx: Right? There are many places and ways to do therapy now as well. So, check in, see what it feels like. If also, if you're noticing people leaving you, leaving relationships with you, not wanting to build friendships with you, ghosting you, it might be time for a self-check-in at like what's going on. What's my piece of this, not the whole pie, just the piece of the pie because eating the whole pie makes you a martyr and that person also is very egotistical because now it's all about you and your martyrdom versus recovering from the pain and trauma, which is your job.
Lacie: Some nice balance there. So, what are some recommendations for balancing the ego? I know on your site, Lexsexdoc.com I'll list it below, under the transcripts. You mentioned under self-help tools, healing through writing. What is that specifically?
Dr. Lexx: So that's actually a bunch of different writing prompts. I think that once we make some room for our own egos and the processes that we go through, we write them down to help get them out of our heads so we're not ruminating. It's not going back and back over and over and over again in our heads; we're putting it someplace safe. We're putting it somewhere we can come back to it. We won't necessarily forget all the pieces and it can really alleviate some of that angst. So journaling, if you do text to talk on your phone and a word document, or a note pad, all of these ways are ways to get these thoughts out and to have them land somewhere safe. That's part of the allure therapy. You get to share all of these things. And most of the time with no judgment and with somebody else to be able to walk through with your emotionality too.
Lacie: I love that because I'm a strong proponent of art and writing as a means of therapy because it has pulled me out of a lot of dark times through my adolescent years and even if I needed it today, I wouldn't hesitate twice about doing it. So, I believe it works. It's extremely cathartic. And I actually found one of my old journals. I didn't read it, but I was just like, Oh wow. Like I filled it up and I had another journal. It was just interesting that just even have and find. So, I love it. So, it absolutely works. I'm a strong proponent of it. So, Dr. Lexx, what is one action a listener could do right after this podcast to work on an unbalanced ego?
Dr. Lexx: Hmm. Right after this podcast to work on an unbalanced ego, a listener, what can a listener do? Well, one, they can go to my website and look at the writing prompts. That is one thing they can do. It's a click away. Another thing they can do is really check in with themselves. I love the idea of doing a Johari's window and I can actually provide you with a worksheet if you want to give that out to the [cross-talking 33:54] have it a freebie or something like that.
Lacie: Sure. I have it listed under the transcripts. Absolutely. What is that?
Dr. Lexx: A Johari's window is a way of looking at yourself. It is a four-pane window, a square with four boxes in it. And it lists out what's known to yourself and how yourself is known to others. And its kind of collapses in these columns where they overlap. So, it's, how do you show yourself? And then how do others see you? And that's a box and then other boxes, like what's unknown to yourself, but known to others. And then it's, what's known to yourself, but not known to others. What are those things that you keep secret? Oftentimes these are things that we feel shame about or dirty or small about. And then there's a window that says what's unknown to yourself and what's unknown to others. And typically, we leave this blank because you don't know what's unknown to yourself because it's unknown and others won't either. But talking about each one of these boxes and walking through, you're going to see like, who is the self that I show others. And then who is the self that others perceive me to be? How are these things the same or different? And then what's the self that I know that other people don't know that I don't show them. And so that'll be an interesting and fun exercise because then you can really look over those characteristics to show what you actually value, how you value showing up what you want to show people, what you don't want to show people. And that can help you really start to get through that information of self in a way that doesn't feel so, so, so heavy.
Lacie: Wow. Oh, that's a great start. So, I will absolutely have the link below. Dr. Lexx, thank you so much for being a part of this Dr. Apples journey and giving us insight on the psyche of Dr. Apples. You are an amazing individual and incredible doctor and a loving sister from another Mister.
Dr. Lexx: From way back,
Lacie: Oh my gosh, since volleyball year. So, I am so happy to have you, and I recommend everyone going to her site and I will have it listed below just visit her site. She deals with individual therapy, couples therapy, family therapy, education consulting, and training. And she's highly active in social media and she brightens my day sometimes and I participate. So, go ahead and I will list all of her social media links below. It's been a blast. Thank you so much. I appreciate your time. And thank you so much for being here.
Dr. Lexx: Thank you so much for having me. I'm loving the podcast.
Lacie: You're incredible. Thanks. Well, that's all the time we have for today's discussion. I would like to thank Dr. Lexx for her enlightening input, addressing the ego. In fact, she has the black girl's guide to couple’s intimacy coming out shortly, and you're able to subscribe @lexsexdoc.com. I, along with Dr. Apples would love to hear your perspective on the story or any comments or share your current journey. Visit talkaboutapples.com, where you can subscribe to the show and comment on every episode. Be sure to tune in every Tuesday and Thursday for new episodes. Thanks for joining us this week on Talk About Apples.
Dr. Apples: Whaa... You're leaving. See you next week.