Self Awareness

Although it is generally considered good to be self aware, becoming self aware should begin with the question of what is self. The second thing to look into is what is awareness. If you think that that the self is just you and awareness is just noticing things, then you are self aware. That’s easy. If you notice you are hungry, then you are self aware. If you notice you are tired, then you are self aware. If you notice that you need to be more self aware, then you are self aware. Congratulations.

If self awareness is so common, then what is so good about it? It’s just being alive. That is good. If self awareness is just being alive, then how can you become more self aware? You can notice that you’re hungry a little sooner and have a snack. You can go to bed when you notice that you are tired. You can notice your experience of dissatisfaction with how things are and pay more attention to your life to make it more tolerable. That’s not being more self aware, that is being more self compassionate or self indulgent.

Self compassion is good. Self indulgent is not so good. Self awareness is good. Self consciousness is not so good. Is it possible to be compassionate to yourself without indulging yourself, or be aware of yourself without being conscious of yourself? Maybe self awareness is noticing how self conscious you are. Maybe self awareness is noticing how you judge yourself and how compassionate you are to yourself. As soon as you start narrowing self awareness down to judgement awareness or compassion awareness, then you are focusing your awareness and engaging in a therapeutic intervention with yourself. You are no longer just being self aware. Therapeutic interventions can be good or bad, depending on how self aware you are. Just kidding.

Self awareness is good. Notice when you’re hungry. Notice when you’re tired. Notice when you’re satisfied. Notice that you are noticing something all the time. Try not to worry about bad and good. Try not to worry about self. 

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