The Curse of Self-Awareness

As homo sapien sapiens, the beings that are aware that we are aware, we have a great gift in terms of our species title (though personally I’m not sure that this is pertinent only to human beings). We also suffer from a great curse: the curse of self-awareness.

Being self-aware can help us to achieve wonderful, beautiful things, striving towards peace and harmony with all creatures with pure intention, awake and aware of how you respond to situations and seeing where you “fit”. It can also lead down the slippery slope of becoming drowned in your own sense of self and of not being able to see beyond that. We can get lost in our heads in a made-up world instead of actually being in reality. We can create situations, linger on emotions and situations that are no longer relevant, and simply be too self-focused, missing out on the beauty, wonder and magic that life can offer us at any given moment.

Much of Paganism and Druidry begins by looking at the self, of finding where we fit within nature. Locating that sense of self is important. However, it shouldn’t end there – we must look outwards as well, otherwise we are missing out on everything that nature is communicating with us in relationship. Druidry is, after all, all about relationship, a two-way flow of energy.

Lift the curse of self-awareness, and look beyond the self to be inspired by the beauty and wonder of the world around you. Finding where you fit, and then listening and being inspired by others, in whatever form they may be – that is the greatest gift.

8 thoughts on “The Curse of Self-Awareness

  1. Very timely post for myself as I’ve been in my inner real for a long time. Looking out, not sure where or what I fit, but knowing I’m missing the outer world. I’ve found lots of inspiration from you, Joanna, with your books and blog. I am very thankful for that. Your blog has been like a tree trunk and I’ve followed down its branches and roots to other authors and blogs. I’m thankful, too to Moon books. Especially important to somebody finding their way and not being sure or knowing who’s who or what’s real. I’m slowly branching. X

    • Hi HM,

      Thank you so very much for your kind words. It’s a lovely feeling to know that you’ve inspired someone – even as I was inspired by my teachers and continue to be every single day of my life. That is the flow of awen, spirit to spirit, soul to soul. Many blessings to you! x

  2. I think you are right about the two-way perspective when it comes to Druidry: we look to the Nature around, as well as within, we compare, we balance and we translate and teach for others as well as our own selves. Sometimes, as influential people within Pagan society, there is a tendency toward drifting into what I used to call the ‘Puffed Up Pack Of Pompous Pagan Prattlers.’ While this description was originally coined to describe a particular group of bloggers and authors ten years ago, I think it can still be applicable as a reminder to keep the ego and reality in check. Sometimes – certainly not all times – it’s leaders and influential people in Pagan society who benefit from, as you say, ‘lifting the curse’ a little more often, as they are often susceptible to feeling high and mighty from having been granted their influential roles by the rest of us.

    Thank you for this post – the reminder contained here is always a timely one 🙂

    I’m curious as to whether or not you would at some point be interested in fleshing this post out a little more, to include specific methods and practices you employ to keep yourself balanced?

  3. There is wisdom here and warning in balance. The balance of the two is important. Otherwise there is the risk of being either inflated with the image of human absolute specialness or crushed under the weight of human folly. The path is a journey and once one passes the threshold of the self and steps beyond it truly valuable learning and experience happens. Not always easy, not always what we want to learn, but in it our soul and spirit strengthen and grow.

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