Why Self-Awareness supports your Mental Health

“Sure thing. I can help you”.

 

It’s easier for me to help another than help myself. It so easy for me to DROP what I’m doing and support another person, however I’m not sure I’m driven by the most purest of motivations.

I feel so bad sometimes I just want to hear someone else’s shitty story to feel better about myself. Compassion is a Bitch! I use someone else’s pain and suffering to manage my own, instead of exploring my own pain. It’s a numbing technique that on the surface seems to be fulfilling, as long as I don’t look at what’s under the hood…I do this to cover up my own pain, this might be as harmful as numbing out for six hours in front of the TV eating candy.

What is the pain? – Open the door just a peek and notice what’s going on inside.

Through the crack I’d see my ugly self, the one that is manipulative, mean, condescending, sarcastic, unfeeling, indifferent, and privileged. She stands on guard with a sword that cuts sharp and deep.

Opening up the door wider I find my brilliant, light bursting, secure self that just wants to be loved, cared for, admired, honoured, respected, and included. I yearn for feeling loved, unique and accepted. With no shields, no weaponry and no fake mask, I can see all of me, vulnerable, courageous, joyful and satisfied. And as quickly as the door was opened it gets slammed by warrior girl ready to cut you with stinging words of sarcastic wisdom and wit.

When I look at my relationship with my husband of 12 years this July; not once has he wavered in his love and devotion, not once has he questioned my love for him, not once has he questioned our path together. His steadfastness should be the confidence boost,  acceptance and love satisfying that I seek, and somehow I still question, still look for those behaviours, speaking and non speaking cues that would indicate otherwise.

Seeing this pervasive behaviour of mine;  projecting my insecurities onto Neil gives me more courage to open that door wider,  and for longer. Looking at myself from this perspective, experiencing the impact and getting clear on the cost of it, shifts the neediness, suddenly I don’t have the needing and wanting. Suddenly I’m grateful.

Neil is the most remarkable man I know and I love him with all my heart. When I let that sink in, my body aches for him, to be near him and be with him.  I’m forever grateful for his love and devotion. He is the air that breathes life into me on a daily basis. I’m reminded that he loves both sides of me the dark and the light.  He picked me for me, the whole me. I’m learning to have compassion for the dark side and starting to see it’s value and how I can use it for good in the world.

Nurturing Self

Access to this happens when when I’m nurturing my self (that’s the loving, grateful self) with yoga, nature, rejuvenation time, writing and doing all things creative, I don’t need to use someone else’s pain to cover up my own. There is a different kind of energy emerging, a calm, integrated being, with no where to go and no where to get to. I’m not trying to be anything, I’m just am.

When I’m nurturing myself, I’m able to give all of me to my clients. There is a value in accessing the deep internal peace that comes with expanding self awareness, letting my actions be driven by this calm. My client’s get my authentic self with no shields. I’m discovering access to this comes from self love, worthiness and acceptance.

The more integrity I can bring to taking care of myself and my needs, provides my clients the very best of me.  Even if I’m going through something. The foundation of self awareness provides a solid ground that can withstand any circumstance.

Opening your door and looking inside is all part of what it means to be alive. Having the willingness to discover and be with uncertainty and discomfort;  and sharing what you find with individuals who have earned the right,  creates access for life to pop and explode with possibilities.

”These are the moments that life is worth living for;  

this is the paradox of life, be ok with  pain and discomfort, and watch life pop.”

 

At first glance, these magical, miraculous and mystifying events are unexplainable and they are the reasons to stay the course when it is the darkest. Sometimes it takes a kick in the ass to realize we are not our circumstances.

 

Know that looking inwards and becoming more aware of who you are in this world

is the path to your satisfaction and fulfillment.

I’d love to hear your comment on:

  • What do you do to support your own self-awarness?
  • What have you learned?

Feature Image credit: Flickr/Daniel Iván

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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9 thoughts on “Why Self-Awareness supports your Mental Health

  1. What a wonderfully writen piece. This is your best writting to date.

    The insight into yourself is so open, vunerable and beautiful.

    Reading this made me love you even more than I already do.

  2. What an amazing insight into your self. A beautifully written analogy with opening the door wider and wider. You have obviously been willing to throw that door wide open which allows you to stand shoulder to shoulder with your clients to do the same. Wonderful insights for us all to take on and embrace. Thanks so much for sharing this! As for the questions: What do I do to support my own self awareness. I write, I read and I have ongoing conversations with people who also share the journey of self awareness. What I have learned is that by opening myself up to share ALL OF IT with others, it allows others to be free to be real with me. And the other thing I have learned is that it is never handled. It is an ongoing journey. One that I have learned to love. Thanks again Leslie. You are a beautiful soul xo

    • Hello Moongirl, I checked out your website and am inspired to see you are also writing to support your own self awareness. Keep up the great work!

  3. Well done! You have captured the essence of the true value of self awareness and the purpose it serves for you. This takes practice and consciousness to pull yourself back to the present when you feel yourself slipping into darkness. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Your clarity shines 🙂
    I enjoyed your writing very much!

    I also think you are right on. My current practice also looks at any discomfort as if it’s a doorway. I got how aligned we are when you gave what happens when you open the door widely.

    Another metaphor is opening up communication between your conscious and unconscious wisdom, right? So I practice “Faster EFT” where Robert Smith noticed that triggers are founded in and supported by unconscious beliefs as well as unconsciously activated physical and/or mental memories. What do we do with those after all? They are not conscious!

    Nor are we foolish! We don’t hang around in unpleasant neighborhoods of bad memories! (And we become adept at avoiding them which helps further populate our unconscious “thinking”.)

    So what does a person then do with resulting triggers or pain or other persisting discomforts and things that don’t work? Robert Smith designed a “go there for the last time” method of addressing everything you know including what you may know unconsciously. It is a 1) dare to feel it, 2) dare to let it go while grounding the memory in the reality of now, 3) check if stuff has changed and repeat as you marvel at the morphing of whatever has been activating you.

    Becoming conscious can look like getting to know what you feel, what believe, and allowing those to change. It’s developing respect for all of the mechanisms and wisdom that function on their own, 100% for you. With a little attention and a request to do it differently than you once learned, the respect for you unconscious self easily deepens to love. A major partnership with your own resources is developed.

    I call it: your unconscious wisdom asking your conscious wisdom for more wisdom. Isn’t that what you’d call it, Leslie?

    Anyway, mine’s a daily personal practice and a daily swapping practice with other practitioners. I also serve clients though my own practice is first–like you said–intentionally setting myself up (to be better of service, incidently). Growing up turns out to be the GREATEST! (Thank goodness.)

    Thanks for talking about this so coherently Leslie.

  5. For me, self awareness is about *paying attention*. That is, paying attention to myself – my reactions, my behaviour, way of being. If I can manage to really pay attention (NOT a forte), I have a chance to reflect (if I don’t “busy” my way out of reflection). It’s my journal that helps me with this. Really it’s quite simple, and yet at the same time, extremely painful to *look* at my soul.