What is your primary destination in 2012? In life, our daily commutes, weekend jaunts, seasonal escapes or annual excursions are but mere pit stops along the way in comparison to the exploratory and often unpredictable course that arises before us as self-consciousness or self-awareness develops within our human psyches. Self-awareness is the capacity for introspection and the ability to reconcile oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals. It is not elementary science though. As we awaken each day to both new and familiar persons, places and experiences, we become more and more aware of our environment and distinct role and/or purpose to others and strive to fulfill it. Yet, we often fail to do the same for ourselves; we are not aware of our own awareness at times. I am guilty of this, as I have been told that I am an expert at examining the thoughts and feelings of others, but I know that I have not always been so adept at engaging myself and exploring my own emotions. Until recently, I was not able to tell others that I suffer from depression, because I did not want to admit it to myself. I had bypassed this obstruction of personal suffering with trepidation and tremendous effort for years to appear as what I once defined as and believed to be the norm or a healthy outlook: always in full command and readily self-confident and happy. I am sure that the latter description may seem hysterical to some as hardly anyone can attest to fully meeting such an ideal character, but I must admit that when I have been at my lowest, everyone around me appeared to be living this ideal to the fullest. They seemed to be enjoying the pure essence of living, while each day I looked in the mirror, my reflection rose towards me like a terrible fish. I had to make a choice – to live on the outskirts of the self and continue to hide from my fears and true nature or confront and strive to overcome my personal obstacles and find a place within myself that is without fear.
A life of quality, valued and good living cannot survive and prosper under a false state of self-awareness. This latter state holds one hostage from freely living, passes harsh judgments on the self and takes a terrible toll on an individual’s health and outlook. Also, the road to self-awareness and enlightenment is re-routed to a destination of doubt and despair, increasing and prolonging any existing depression or hopelessness. Therefore, in time, I understood that I could not allow myself to stay in such a lonely place inside myself. I had to discover a means of interacting regularly with myself and exploring my full emotional range, not only those which brought me comfort and assurance. I had to re-direct myself on a new path to self-awareness and set a primary destination in my life. Now, with every written word and each shared experience on my blog, I near my destination of a healthier life, full of self-awareness in a place with no fear. My depression still has its say, but I have mine as well.
Self-awareness requires focus, faith, and a willing spirit. You cannot turn away from the face in the mirror forever, and you cannot hide yourself in the dark for fear of living in the sunlight. It takes a leap of faith to venture off familiar paths and traverse the unknown, but if it means a healthier relationship with oneself, you don’t have anything to lose but everything to gain.