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Awareness: Perks and Pitfalls

Over the years I often wondered if becoming more aware or conscious is what it’s cut out to be. As a teenager I devoured such books as The Awakening of Intelligence by J Krishnamurti and Walden by Henry David Thoreau, and felt such expansiveness and feelings of liberation as it seemed like I was finally connecting with truth, to what what really going on. It felt wonderful! What also happened was my newfound awareness brought me face-to-face with my unconsciously held pain and with my family environment where feelings were not to be talked about I had to shut up and get in line.

Without anyone around to guide me through the quagmire of my feelings I struggled immensely at times where I got to the point where I had to put my books away. At times nothing made sense, and the truth seemed to hurt too much.

As I grew up and continued to contemplate and study on the essence of who and what I really was the awareness of my thought and feeling body expanded exponentially. My highs became higher and my lows became lower. As I felt the depths of my harbored pain I often wondered what’s the use, and that perhaps it’s better to remain ignorant and keep my head in the sand. If becoming more aware of what is really happening is so painful, why do it? There were times that I burned all of my journals in anguish and frustration and I didn’t know what to do next. In those moments I vowed to give up on reality, and in discussing anything related to self-help or spirituality. At times I was sick of it all, but my incessant drive for heart-connection and deep personal understanding would simply not let me go.

As my awareness expanded I realized the true value of the intense negative feelings and suffering that I experienced along the way. I also came to realize that all my feelings were in fact signs from my body letting me know that what I was thinking and feeling was not in line with the essence of who I really was. My feelings were signs to pay attention and do something about them (if I wanted), and not hide, if I was to return to feeling happy and living in greater peace. My awareness helped me realize that I had a choice in how I felt and experienced life on this planet.

Living in awareness is about being conscious of your internal thinking and feeling process, and with your connection with external world. Expanding awareness is the path of self-discovery.

By paying close attention to arising thoughts, emotions and behaviors you get a glimpse of your underlying belief systems which in turn allows you to truly understand the level at which life is being created. Having greater awareness allows for the opportunity to heal the imbalance and disharmony that you feel in your life and ultimately return to your birthright, a place of inner contentment, harmony and wisdom. As awareness grows, so does your freedom to decide on how to react in each moment, allowing you the opportunity to take back control of your life. Less and less will you be the sail flapping in the wind and more and more will you feel grounded, in harmony and simply feeling good.

Learning about my inner nature became addictive…and still is. The more I learned the more I wanted to know as I could not bear the thought of hiding from any negative emotional upheaval. And very importantly, I wanted to know what to do about them when they arose. What also happened was that my awareness and connection with higher feelings such as appreciation, fun, happiness and the immense feeling of awe became amplified and richer.

So, is becoming more aware or more conscious worth it? An absolute and resounding yes! Funny thing though, and what is a true cosmic joke, is that you have no choice. Your feelings (life) will become louder and more irritating until you have no choice but to learn about them, to transmute them, to let them go and to love them. Awareness, is power!

Post Copyright, Peter Paul Harnisch, 2018.

Header Photo by:  Paul Gilmore on Unsplash

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