A Therapist’s Perspective on Self-Awareness and Healing

Self-discovery, self-awareness, enlightenment… it all sounds like words you’d hear coming from the mouth of some guru in a sweat lodge somewhere in the east. It sounds like the “woo-woo” and “fru-fru” stuff we like to roll our eyes at. Really… what kind of value is there “looking inside” of ourselves. We’ve got real problems to deal with, right? Perhaps you’re struggling through a failing marriage, your boss is stressing you out, or you’re freaking out about scared to jump into the business idea you have. These are the real issues, no?

Discovering who we really are, yes, is a spiritual experience. However, that doesn’t mean that we have to align ourselves with one firm set of beliefs. It has less to do with the divine that we believe in and more about living into the fullness and wholeness that we were meant for. Read “spirituality” through your own lens, or create the lens if you feel it necessary. It can help to have the terminology “spiritual” because it can help us understand the way we sense the internal. We do not see it, but we can feel it. 

This coming into awareness is a pivotal, wildly important step for us to take as humans developmentally. Our self-awareness takes us into a deeper understanding and recognition of self. When a baby is born, it takes them a while to understand that they are no longer one with their mother. Observing a baby’s development, you might see things like a baby discovering his toes or penis in the bathtub, or the two-year-old demanding she have a sucker. These are actual moments of self-discovery. In the same way, we are meant to continue this process of discovery and come to a stronger awareness of ourselves. 

To some extent, we all deeply understand that we want to know who we are. If we allow ourselves to go through life without being deliberative in asking ourselves why we do what we do, then we will ultimately look to the external to create our identity. It is as if we try to clothe ourselves with external experiences, the people we are in relationship with, or our pride and judgements. We try to put something tangible on the thing that we do not know. Ultimately, we cover up who we really are, and postpone the discovery of our true identity. 

We get into a lot of trouble when we deny the importance of learning who we are. We can get stuck in the idea that we are already sure of our identity and refuse to look any deeper. But then, we are at risk of becoming a slave to what we do not know. 

Trauma, the stories that we tell ourselves, labels that others have placed on us… a lot of these beliefs tend to become automized inside of us. The beliefs that come from these experiences can become the sources that inform how we behave. We may surprise ourselves by the words and tone we use with our loved ones. Or perhaps we find ourselves entering a love affair and in hindsight, we are disgusted by our own actions. The unawareness and lack of understanding of who we truly are can keep us in the darkness of why we do what we do.

Knowing who you are truly can help liberate you from impulsivity. What discovering the truth about who you are can also give you is the joy of living completely and unabashedly authentically. To be able to know what you like, what your strengths are, how you prefer to engage in relationships, and be free to live out that way of life is the epitome of joy. And the cherry on top is when you experience acceptance and love from others when you are your truest self.

Being loved by others for living out your true self comes secondary to one thing, that you truly love yourself! Loving yourself isn’t limited to things like giving yourself a nice weekend retreat to the woods. Rather finding out who you are can allow you to love yourself as if you were another person in your life. You will come to find that who you are is worth all the love you could ever encounter. Also, you’ll find that the love you have always wanted was within you all along to give yourself. 

Does this sound too good to be true? This is real life. This is how you were meant to live. To know who you are, to love yourself, and then to love others from that place of strength. Knowing who you are takes you into deeper relationships with everyone in your life. 

In the intricate tapestry of life, the journey to self-discovery often appears as a distant, esoteric concept, relegated to the realms of mysticism or ancient wisdom. Yet, amidst the chaos of our daily struggles and the clamor of external demands, the quest to uncover our true essence emerges as the ultimate adventure, a path paved with profound insights and transformative revelations. If you find yourself navigating the labyrinth of self-discovery, grappling with the shadows of the past or the uncertainties of the present, know that you are not alone. I invite you to take the courageous step toward self-exploration and growth, to embark on a journey of healing and transformation. Together, we can navigate the depths of your inner landscape, unraveling the threads of your story to reveal the masterpiece within. Your journey toward self-discovery begins with a single step. Reach out today to embark on this sacred pilgrimage toward wholeness and fulfillment. Your true self awaits, ready to be unveiled in all its radiant splendor.

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