“If I am alive and self-aware, then everything there is to know about life (God and healing) can be discovered there.” Brunch www.peacefulpoet.com
The above is a quote by my son. I added “God and healing” to put it into my own frame of reference.
When he first spoke those words to me, I had to stop and think. Maybe you do too! What does he mean by this?
We are all in the habit of seeing ourselves a certain way. What do you think of, or become aware of, when you look at yourself in the mirror or self-reflect?
What are you looking at? From what point of view are you looking?
Are you looking on the surface for wrinkles, at body size and shape, at the fashion statement?
Are you looking into your mind and noticing your thoughts or your emotions?
Do you look for your accomplishments or your failures and judge or evaluate what you are noticing?
To look from a point of view that is to review, or compare, is a type of self-awareness. It is founded in the belief that we can always better ourselves.
How often do you find yourself feeling good about what you are reflecting on? Really, ask yourself and answer that question right now.
Psychotherapy is founded on this premise—to become aware of our past can help us with our future, “I am a work in progress that needs fixing.”
Most often reflecting upon ourselves does not create a sense of joy or contentment within us. Is that true for you?
The need to better our “Self” through self-reflection often keeps us consistently looking to the future or evaluating our past based on what we think we already know.
It does not allow us to see what is happening right now in this moment. To look at this moment is to look with a different point of view and possibly use different language.
When coming from “fix it” mode, we might say to ourselves,” I dislike looking in the mirror because I don’t like what I feel or see.”
“Dislike” assumes a preconceived notion that you are not right and you know this even before looking. Looking in the mirror only reminds you of that fact.
If you look from another point of view, one that does not assume anything, then first you need to be willing to look without a preconceived notion.
Yes, I know that is hard to do.
“I am looking in the mirror and feeling uncomfortable because I am aware, I don’t like what I see.”
You could go on to describe your discomfort as “What I see (right this moment as I look in the mirror) makes me feel… (you fill in the blank) frustrated, powerless over my body, or helpless or worthless, or inadequate?”
It is all a form of discomfort, do you agree?
Any emotion, by the way, is literally a biochemical reaction that passes through your body that you have learned to put a label on.
In the scenario above, I am not labeling myself as fat or lazy or worthless. I am simply noticing what is happening with me.
“I am uncomfortable.”
To notice what is real within you right now has the capacity to allow you to take the power back from the label—a label that makes you feel a victim to yourself.
When we dig deeper and ask, “Why am I fat?” or “Why do I overeat?” or “Why am I afraid?” this takes us into our past to explain it.
Often, this creates even more uncomfortableness; which, then can leave us feeling worse.
What if you were to notice your discomfort, but be willing and able to refocus and ask a different question?
” What would it feel like to see myself in the mirror in a way that would give me pleasure?”
“To look and see myself without the need to fix or changing one single thing and still feel pleasure?”
In order to get to the pleasure experience, it is important that you know these three things.
- When we are able to be with the emotions—these biochemical reactions that move through us like a wave—we have the ability to feel it, notice it, but not get lost in it and we can literally ride it out. As the wave within comes to completion, or we experience it as passing, we then have the option to have a different thought or different point of view about this discomfort.
- To allow this wave to pass it is helpful to be willing to consider that this wave is passing through a Self that is whole, not a Self that needs fixing.
- To allow yourself to notice what is really happening in this moment (as in “I am uncomfortable”) curiosity is a helpful tool. So, you can now ask “What is this?”
This curious observer has no agenda or need to evaluate; it just notices what is!
This type of self-awareness is based on the belief that “I am fine the way I am” and “I can notice without the need to fix or improve.”
The powerful and true underlying assumption that truly promotes healing is that in the most profound ways I am whole. This wholeness lives within me and is waiting to be discovered and partnered with now!
Yes, you are whole regardless of the biochemical wave of emotion moving through you.
It is my personal experience that to learn to listen to myself in the present moment with open curiosity is an acquired skill that has put me on the road to healing all aspects of my life.
Use your courage and face what is present to you and within you right now. Notice what is present and then notice where you are looking from. Are you looking from fear and judgment or support, curiosity and wholeness?
God seeing himself/herself lives in the present moment always. This God, or Awareness lives in your curiosity, in your aliveness in this moment. He/she lives in the aliveness you are allowing yourself to be aware of right this moment…now, right this moment.
Now, right this moment. God did not create fear. God is wholeness creating itself.
The labeled emotions regardless of what is it, powerlessness or helplessness or worthlessness, cannot get addressed when we are in judgment, fear or evaluation of these same emotions.
We are then literally creating more waves of emotion—like embarrassment, humiliation, guilt, remorse, regret, which adds another layer to your already existing angst.
Judging ourselves negatively traps us, freezes us, in these waves. When the emotions freeze within, we lose the flow that we need to actively take care of ourselves.
When this happens, the ability to move forward in kindness, encouragement and possibility are frozen, too.
To open curiosity and neutral observation is an acquired skill. It allows you to simply look at what is happening right this moment within.
“I am at rest.”
“I am feeling hungry.”
“I am anxious and feel as though I can’t function.”
“I am noticing that my mind will not stop talking to me.”
This is to be self-aware of what is happening with in you “right this moment.”
To simply notice and then allow yourself to let the thought and emotion pass makes room for a new idea or experience to occur. This is where healing happens.
Think about it.
There is more to come on tips and tools for understanding awareness, noticing without criticism and letting go of emotions.