Although it has become widely accepted that the act of upgrading our degree of self-awareness is one of the keys to personal evolution and almost always a catalyst for change, for some of us it is no more inviting a process than a couple of hot pokers to the eyeballs. After all, when we stand still for a moment and draw our senses inward, shining a flashlight into the shadows of the realms we personally govern, we know for a fact there will be truths discovered in those places that will make themselves impossible to ignore and, therefore, require some kind of attention. For many, the pain and discomfort of standing in the mirror and accepting all of who we are...the good, bad and the ugly, is more than we can bear. The problem with this reality is that all of that which lies in wait for us on the next leg of our journey is like a universal trust fund that cannot be awarded until we have reached the level of maturity necessary in order to adequately manage the bounty.
Although this may make sense to us in theory, one of the unfortunate realities of our society is that escapism is a large part of our culture. While we all have our different formulas for postponing that face to face meeting with ourselves, we surely have an extensive menu of offerings to choose from. We can numb ourselves with booze or drugs as often as we'd like...we can live fantasy lives through our online identities in cyberspace...we can consume ourselves with work to the point that we only seek food and sleep...we can spend every second of our down time watching television or movies...we can appoint ourselves the family or neighborhood counselor, focusing on everyone else's issues but our own. The truth is that, until we develop the courage to stand in the mirror and actually seek and accept answers, they will not likely be delivered. Until the hope and desire for understanding becomes stronger than our need for comfort, entertainment and familiarity, we will continue to live a life of self-rationalized behavior and thinking, ignoring our potential to expand our horizons.
Don't get me wrong, folks, I am not saying this is always easy. It might feel like we are donuts that God is triple dunking into hot coffee. We might wish that we could go back to a life of ignorance after viewing our image without Photoshop and airbrushing. We may awaken understandings that make us buckle inside. We may cringe as we replay memories and scenarios back, watching them from an outsider's perspective. The beauty of the process, though, is unmistakable. We have the power to tap into knowledge and embrace truths that will allow us to grow remarkably...we have the resources available in our own beings to dissolve obstacles...we have the answers within us to every question we send outward. In order to emerge from this process, however, we must enter it. We must submit...the gifts lie beyond. So, the next time an opportunity presents itself and we are offered the choice, we can take a deep breath...ready ourselves...and open our eyes with the intention of actually seeing.
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