I hope you're finding space and connection through the holidays. Many of us are seeing to family, which can remind us of the patterns we have worked so hard to let go of, or remind us of areas within ourselves that we don't particularly enjoy.
Self-awareness is a wonderful skill. It teaches us who we are! All our ways of being, patterns, tendencies, wounds, and strengths. I know for most of you, however, it comes with the other self: the critic. When I first started my spiritual journey, I didn't even know that these were separate. I thought self-awareness was finding what was "wrong" with me and judging myself for it. I remember being so confused, because I thought to be loving to myself meant I needed to stop looking at myself. At times, I would look within as a sort of aggression to prove all the ways I was a mess. Other times I would avoid looking with quite a bit of skill and fear, because looking meant feeling bad. This is the neurosis that can come with self-awareness.
For me, my meditation and healing journey has led me to cultivate the curious self. The one who does not judge, but simply looks. The curious self lives as a foundation, and can hold space when I'm seeing something I don't like. It asks questions like, "why don't you like what you're seeing?" or "why are you so hurt by that? what's underneath the pain?" or "do you even know if that's true?". My curious self has wonder. It finds the assumptions and expectations I set up with glee, as if it's on a scavenger hunt, collecting trinkets for a game. It reminds me that so much of what I think is simply noise, and distracting me from sinking into the bigger space of love, the bigger self. Which allows me to enjoy my self-awareness, rather than be afraid of it. This is the wisdom behind seeing ourselves.
Most of us are led to look within because the outside world isn't providing us with the answers we seek. Our family can't give them, nor our friends. We have to look to ourselves. And when we can look with love, rather than fear, we can unravel so many ways of being that no longer serve us.
So here's to moving through the holidays with wonder and glee!
With much love,