You are a part of the universe just like everything else. You are special, compared to a rock, because you know that you are part of the universe. The universe is too big to comprehend. If you ever catch a glimpse of it you will understand that you cannot understand it. That is where the ego comes in. The ego understands your point of view on the universe. It helps you focus on the human sized things, it slows everything down so that you can perceive it. In slowing things down the ego creates resistance. This resistance causes pain.
You can handle any situation that life throws at you. Experience is smooth and flows easily from one moment to the next. The ego tries to grab onto these moments and resists the flow. When I was a kid, we had a cabin deep in the woods. As we drove in the lane, we used to ride on the tailgate of the station wagon, dangling our feet above the dirt road. If we reached down, we could touch the road and feel the gravel with our toes. If we touched too hard our toes would get scraped. Your ego is like our toes reaching for the gravel. Skin is constantly ripping off the ego’s toes and it hurts. If the ego were to pick up its feet, and just ride along, there would be no chafing. No matter how rough the road becomes, we can always pick up our feet and watch it pass smoothly below.