Awareness can also be spoken of as insight, awakening, becoming conscious, or gaining a deeper understanding of something about ourselves or the world around us. With awareness we have the ability to make informed choices about how we are, how we want to change, or what aspects of self we want to grow or shrink. Awareness brings us freedom to be who we truly are. It all gets more complicated however when we include our interactions with others.
The most powerful question for gaining awareness about relationships is to notice when we are reacting to others and ask this question:
How is that like me?
This question allows us to take responsibility for our own emotional reactivity to others. However that can be difficult to do because we tend to shy away from awareness that points out flaws in us. Here are some of possibilities for awareness we may not want to fully accept:
If we get angry or upset at others then most often it is something within us.
Almost all issues with others are really our own issues.
If someone is really bugging us it is probably that they are holding up a mirror and causing us to see something we don’t want to see.
Most anger toward another is projection; it is us projecting onto others what is more true to us than them.
Blaming and complaining about others is more about our reaction to feeling powerless over their behaviors and feeling unable to control them.
Even those who harm us in some way can be seen as providing us with lessons (opportunities for awareness) we have sought at a deeper level. An example might be: if someone hurts us by leaving us it becomes an opportunity to notice a pattern we have been stuck in for too long.
Notice what came into our awareness as we read these challenging opportunities for awakening to our true nature.
As you read through these ideas it seems that most awareness is again about our inner process with others as well as ourselves. Yes there are people who are difficult and frustrating on their own without us tossing in our own stuff. Those people are hurting in their own way and it is best keep our boundaries clear so we are not treaded on by their lack of self-boundaries.
With awareness of self and self in relationship to others we can know where we want to grow our capacities to bring out the best in ourselves and in those we interact with throughout our day. Life is never boring in the state of awareness.
Peace Letter #89
Dear President Obama,
The corporate personhood granted by a misinformed court system must be changed. Corporations do not have the rights of citizens and must be held accountable for their behaviors. BP is ruining our waters in the Gulf. Monsanto is poisoning our land. Mega corporations are ruining our farming. Blackwater is murdering on our dime. Banks were bailed out and now shaft the people. Insurance companies look for reason to deny claims. Corporations drown our Legislative branch with influence money and on and on.
I know Mr. President, you did not create this mess but it falls on you to do as much as you can to fix it. The war effort is also only benefiting those who profit from it. Many people in this nation know the truth about these problems and can be called on to help.
Joseph Bernard, Ph.D.
Join me and send President Obama emails of support and encourage the end of war and the other dysfunctional ways of government at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact