As a therapist, I have a lot of clients who have been so bad at self-awareness that they have been described as an “emergency on-call”. They are so caught up with the crises of their day that they have missed, or forgotten, the opportunity to be self-aware. For them, it has become almost a reflex.
I recently had a client who couldn’t find her car keys. She was in a strange place, and so she wandered off and couldn’t find her car keys. So she called me (and her other therapist) to go into her room, and sit across from her, and give her a little breathing exercise. About a half hour later, she came back out to tell me she had gotten her keys. She thought they were in her purse, but they weren’t.
I guess when we think we are completely self-aware, it is more like we are still not. We are still caught in the middle of our own thoughts, our own memories, our own feelings. This is what makes us, at least in this world, so very vulnerable.
It’s the same thing when we think about emergency situations. We don’t always realize we’re in them.
Just a moment, I thought I had locked my keys in the car. I was wrong. I had just locked myself in the basement.
We live in a world where we live our lives with the knowledge that our actions will affect the world around us. We have built this into our lives by the fact that we have a conscience. If we are not careful, we can forget this fact and be swept up in our own thoughts, memories and emotions.
Our conscience is a muscle that the brain uses to remind us of what we’ve done. The more we have it, the more likely we are to act rationally, but the more we neglect it, the more we will act badly. Consciousness is what allows us to act rationally and with conscious intent. Most people have a good conscience, but very few have a conscience that is strong. Our conscience isn’t always right, but it is always right.
This is a very important point. Self-awareness is a big part of who we are. We are capable of thinking and feeling, we are capable of being angry, we are capable of being sad, we are capable of caring about things. But when we go about these things with our conscious mind, our conscious mind is not always right. We may feel it, but it may not be. We might think it, but it may not be.
We can’t always feel something, or even see it. We can’t always see it, or feel it, or experience it. But when we’re in the moment, and we’re fully alive, and we’re not preoccupied with anything other than the fact that we’re alive, we can know that it is there. And then, and only then, is our conscious mind right.
Because you are in the moment are fully alive you are able to see the world in a different way. You can see things you would never have seen. You can feel things you would never have felt. And when you are in the moment, and you are fully alive, you can experience it.