Self awareness

In the last post, I asked the following questions:
Do I believe I matter enough to take care of myself? Do I ever take time, to spend time with my thoughts, my feelings, sensations in my body?

Do I treat myself with kindness and compassion? Can I soothe myself when I am upset, do I look for help when I am in need?

I pose these questions because they are fundamental to how we are in the world, in our relationships; how we develop from our past and anticipate the future.

If you answer the questions above negatively, spend a moment considering how this might be affecting your life? My guess is that if you have answered with hesitation, that life is not as you would like it to be, that perhaps it seems difficult and that relationships with others can be challenging.

Does self awareness matter?

Yes is the simple answer.

If we wish to change something in our lives, address experiences that have had a negative impact on us, or feel stuck and wish to move; we need to know how to do these things, therefore we must get to know our inner landscape, as we are our own guides and we have the tools to navigate our way to greater fulfilment.

There are a range and expanse of complexities that make us humans tick. We are made up of physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual components that each have complementary and on occasion opposing forces and purposes within ourselves. I like to think of self awareness as developing a relationship with yourself. Getting to know all the different parts and how they live together in the one space.
We often move through the world without any real consideration for how we exist in the world, we may feel that life may be thrust upon us and that we are not participants/actors in the story of our own lives. Self awareness challenges this type of thinking and helps us take a leading role in our own lives. CG Jung once wrote ‘Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate‘.

Different parts we play in life

The self can be imagined as a cast of characters that are informed by every experience we have ever had and by our genetic inheritance and predisposition. We can have a fun side, a sad one, an angry part, a destructive one, a compassionate side. Getting to know the aspects that serve us well will help us nurture them further. By getting to know those parts of ourselves that do not support us, we are permitted to ask the question, what does this part need or what did it not get that it needs now? If we can answer this and provide it, this part of ourselves can be brought into play, not outcast and popping up when we don’t want it to. It can take it’s deserved place.

There is an awakening to ourselves that can only happen when we are truly in touch with our make up. A 13th century poet Rumi summed this up when he wrote ‘why do you stay in prison when the door is wide open?’. We corral ourselves in our own inaction and pain and feel that we are unable to stir, we have the resources within us to loosen the shackles and to open the door. It is often very demanding, but not only necessary but continually rewarding, if we are to uncover our true selves.

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