Being self-aware is bittersweet. Sweet because you get to grow and evolve, change your school of thought, and really understand whom you are. Bitter because shit ain’t always love & light, rainbows & butterflies, or easy.
The journey to being self-aware is exhausting & exposing. It can seem like you can’t catch a break. The healing journey never ends and that is what makes being self-aware so important. Being self-aware allows you to look at yourself in a mirror and be honest. It pushes you to think through things and to be able to identify your triggers. Being self-aware allows you to reach a higher consciousness of who you are.
Over the last few weeks, the word “baggage” kept coming up. I was involved in situations where others projected their own problems onto me and attempted to leave their problems at my feet. In the words of the late great Mac Dre, it is “not my job” to deal with your problems in that capacity. These bags that we carry around prevent us from reaching that level of self-awareness that is important to grow. They prevent us from moving forward.
I had a shit ton of bags on me. I had bags full of horrible things that happened to me and things that I had done that I wasn’t so proud. I projected those emotions and that pain onto others and out into the world. I was not self-aware because I was not doing the work to work through my past problems. I was simply ignoring them and allowing them to tell me who I was.
My self-awareness stemmed from a few things – therapy, healing sessions, crystal healing, oracle/tarot readings, and exhaustion. I was tired of carrying not only those bags but also the burdens that came with having them. I wanted to feel lighter and be able to find my own inner peace & happiness.
Now, I am self-aware. It is an everyday process but I have my “toolkit” to keep me in check. I revisit old journal writings and see where I have grown. I listen to certain songs to see what emotions they provoke and dissect the memories attached to them. When I feel myself getting anxious about the past I talk myself through it with questions like “why do you feel this way?”, “What does anxiety feel like right now?”, “What does your breathing feel like?”, “What sounds do you hear/what do you see?” in order to ground me. The biggest self-check tool is paying attention to how I handle things. Am I being reactive in a way that does not serve me? Am I approaching the situation with grace? Those two questions let me know if I am embodying old habits or embracing new ways of thinking.
Grace is what keeps me from projecting past pain onto others. Grace is what guides me through my day-to-day interactions with others. Compassion also assists in how I handle myself and how I embrace those around me.
Self-awareness is about reaching a point where you can look in the mirror and say, “this is who I am and that’s okay”. It is reaching the highest form of you. It is self-love in my opinion.
This past Sunday I went on a nature hike at Rock Creek Park and I sat by a body of water. I sat and I talked and I listened. I took in the sounds around me, I studied the way the water moved, I even acknowledged the way my body felt in that element. Here are some photos from that hike.
I encourage you to shine your light in nature this week. Find a park, trail, or sit on your front steps. Take a journal or your notes section in your phone and identify what you see, feel, hear, etc. Identify what parts of your surrounding align with who you are. Does the sound of cars passing remind you of how busy you are? Can you hear the tree leaves moving? Take the time to go outside and inhale the fresh air.