The Easy Place

The Quest for Self Awareness One Moment at a Time

The Freedom of Self Awareness

`“J.D.P.”: Heading Home with the Suitcase', Om...

Image by Dr John2005 via Flickr

Like everyone, I’ve got baggage.  There’s residue from my baby boomer childhood, issues from a youthful, short-lived marriage, and a typical mix of insecurities and fears resulting from simply being human.  

On one hand, I like my history, without it I wouldn’t be who I am today.  On the other hand I don’t like the fact that what happened to me in the past sometimes determines my reactions in the present.  When one of my old vulnerabilities gets triggered I can find myself leaping straight into a knee-jerk reaction without a moment’s thought.

That’s where self awareness comes in.  Self awareness is about uncovering what’s real and reacting to that rather than what we make up.  It’s about digging out the stories and “facts” that have become fossilized over the years and determining what’s true today.  It’s about taking all those old myths that either diminish us (I’m invisible, I’m unlovable, I’m powerless) or inflate us (I’m smarter, better, more deserving) and discovering what’s real.  

When we don’t separate reality from fiction, the battles of our childhoods never end. We might feel like we’ve moved on but our subconscious still has something to prove.  We continue the quest for respect, love, attention (whatever we didn’t get as children) without really being aware of it.  And if the original villain in our story isn’t around we’ll substitute someone who is, taking our past issues out on the people who are with us today

The beauty of self awareness is that it deals with the present.  We don’t have to relive our past traumas to move beyond them, we just have to look at our current beliefs and decide if they are valid.  We don’t need to figure out why our mothers (or fathers, or whomever) didn’t love us, or even if it’s actually true that they didn’t love us.  We just need to answer the question “Am I unlovable?”, and then look at how old beliefs might be distorting our relationships today.   

Self awareness saves us from the futile struggle of trying to change the past.  It opens up a brand new perspective, one that helps us get unstuck and move forward.  And because this perspective is based on what we actually know, without emotional embellishments from the past, our actions are cleaner, clearer and in tune with who we really are today.    

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2 responses to “The Freedom of Self Awareness

  1. Dawnika May 24, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Beautiful article. Thank you Mindy. Also as you’ve mentioned before and as the Dalai Lama and Luise Hay (and others) say picture yourself as you were when you were a little baby. That little baby is so pure, innocent and worthy of love, and you are still just as worthy of love.

  2. JOY June 15, 2010 at 7:20 am

    I like to look at my past, as little story books I’ve been carrying around with me for years, that I thought defined me. Truth is, I can dump the stories right now and make a new definition of myself. So what if sh*t happened. It doesn’t mean it will happen again – unless I allow the memories to cloud what’s happening today.

    Great post.

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