“It takes courage…to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.”
― Marianne Williamson
In the last post, I talked about how good we are at forgetting our Self, and my preparations for my journey to Ireland and Scotland. Because self-awareness is a cornerstone of spiritual growth, it will require that we see and embrace all parts of ourselves.
Some of you have surely experienced the feeling of disconnection, fragmentation, and being untethered from your soul and purpose.
So why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we separate and forget who we are?
Have you ever said something you really wish you hadn’t? Have you ever hurt so bad that you just want everything to go away? Have you had a relationship go bad and wanted to just forget it ever happened? Have you been so focused on one thing that you forgot all about something else?
We know that the answer to those questions is a rousing YES!
Most lives have good times and bad times. So the answer is to be strong enough to face whatever is there—the pain, grief, embarrassment, betrayal, lack of character and virtue, the poor choices….everything. Face all of you. See yourself for who you truly are.
Why see all of myself?
Self-awareness is the pathway back to the god-head, your Higher Self, the completeness of your Soul.
Ignoring the negative only allows it to grow way out of proportion to reality. It becomes a monster that must be avoided at all costs, too raw and tender to touch, too dangerous to even acknowledge. It is the bully on the playground who would back down if you would simply stand up to him. But you don’t, and it grows in ominous presence.
And avoiding the negative aspects of yourself keeps you from connecting fully to your higher consciousness and becoming integrated with your greater soul.
If you don’t feel strong enough to face the truth of all of who you are, then that is where you start. Just like any journey, you simply start where you are and take the first step. And as scary as that may seem, I can assure you the alternative is far worse:
- Maintaining the status quo – and we know how that has been going…
- Not ever really achieving enlightenment or even really waking up
- Not having good intuitive skills – how can you if you only allow yourself to see half of the truth?
- Having all the quirks and illnesses show up due to your subconscious effort to get you to see things
- Letting your soul whither away and your consciousness shrink. Remember that the entire universe is in a process of entropy, even your soul. Unless you put enough effort to not only keep up with entropy but overcome it, your soul is indeed withering and shrinking.
- Being blown around, untethered, directionless, and lacking purpose
That’s enough – it just gets more depressing…
The anecdote to separating from your Self, is to embrace all of you.
Admit that you are flawed, confess that you have no doubt done some evil at some point. Realize that each of those deeds were the result of a decision point, based on some perspective, philosophy, emotion, or reaction that needs to be revealed and resolved in order for you to not repeat it again and again. The pathway to becoming Whole is to work through it, not try to skirt around it.
As hard as it is, facing truth is a richer, more rewarding journey.
So, as I set out for Dublin on my odyssey of self-discovery and self-awareness, I had the attitude of “Bring it on! Do your worst. Show me the good, the bad, and the ugly.” I was determined, prepared, and excited to unlock the mysteries and take a look at the contents of my personal Pandora’s box….ahem….I mean treasure chest of memory.
Oh yes, I found some ugly memories hidden in dark corners, and I plan to share some of those experiences with you, too. I’m just setting the stage here for you—the internal as well as the external process. I know you are on your personal growth and self-awareness journey, or want to get started, so I hope this is helpful for you as you lay your own groundwork.
And you doing your work will also allow you to be in a place of compassion about my journey, because you will be uncovering some of your own secrets and sharing the kinship of imperfection and soul growth. So lovely to have you as a companion along this path!
That brings up a point. We can only truly walk the path together if we both are willing to go to all the places required. Not everyone was willing to walk the yellow brick road with Dorothy, but then not everyone got to the Emerald City and reaped the rewards. Please come with me! Shall we link arms?
And it is not about walking my path with me. It is about walking the path to your own personal Emerald City, to gain your own rewards of self-awareness, connection, purpose, and wholeness. We know that is easier with a guide, a companion, a peer.
Have you been working on your Book of Shadows? I mentioned it in my last post. Here are the full instructions for creating yours:
- In a journal, create a list of your Shadows. Take a hard and merciless view of your weaknesses, failures, and deficiencies. Such entries may include jealousy, hatred, vindictiveness, gossiping, indifference, laziness, uneven temperament, breaches in integrity, contradictions in philosophy, hypocrisy, giving away too much of yourself, being nice rather than honest or having integrity, etc.
- Create a list of your Illuminations. Again, objectively list all your successes, strengths, and positive attributes. These may include enthusiasm, courage, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, achievements, boundaries, sacred selfishness, values, virtues, etc. It is important to elaborate on these lists, adding to them whenever new characteristics are observed.
- The full extent of the advantages of this exercise will only become known through experience.
- What have you learned about yourself? What surprised you? What are you determined to change about yourself? ….and when?
Preparing and witnessing these darker aspects is the hardest part of gaining self-awareness. Ease into it, or jump into it. And know that it gets more fun from here.
Remember: You will be able to read my stories, but you don’t get the real fun of personal growth for yourself if you aren’t willing to do the work that goes with it. I didn’t make this rule – it just is.
So stay tuned for the next installment and the next step in the journey as we spotlight Focus.