On Saturday morning during my quiet time, thoughts of my self-consciousness kept rolling through my mind. I reflected on how easily embarrassed I can get over my physical appearance, how sometimes I want to hide my wrinkles and sags, color my hair, tuck my tummy, whiten my teeth, and perhaps have an overall body lift. I also sometimes want to find a hole to disappear into so so one can see my deep sense of inadequacy, or my fear of not being enough, of being too much, of failing, of acting senseless, and/or of screwing up my life. When I’m experiencing self-consciousness, I think of myself as being stupid, of not knowing quite enough, and of living in a dream world where I think I might be able to write, while harboring the fear of being seen as a wannabe.
Being in a state of self-consciousness is being in a lower ego state, where one is vulnerable to flattery, and where we align with weak detractor patterns. Last year, I read ” Power vs. Force: An Anatomy of Consciousness” by David Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., and it left a lasting impression on me. In this book, Dr. Hawkins explains weak detractor patterns as those which keep us stuck in self-consciousness, or in lower levels of life where we relate through the ego. An example of these attractor patterns are: pride, anger, desire, fear, grief, apathy, guilt, and shame.
When we live through our ego we can easily judge self and others, and habitually look for someone or something to place blame on. We self-castigate when we are in ego, and we often experience deep states of fear about the world, war, the economy, conflict, and anything that feels like it is threatening. We feel alone and separate when in an ego state, and lose our sense of oneness with our human family, and with the world at large. It’s a small place to dwell, and is confining to the point where we become a prisoner of self.
Self-consciousness is living in a state of pure consciousness, which few attain on an ongoing basis, but which we can reach on and off as we grow into the fullness of Self. It’s when we feel at one with all there is, where we experience our connection to divine creator energy. When we are in this higher state of consciousness we “feel” nature and the world, we recognize our humility and gratitude, we are sensitive and caring to self and to others, and we know we are in the world, but not of it. I reach these states of consciousness often, and when I’m there I see my true nature and beauty. I don’t put myself down, nor do I make harsh judgments on who I am or what I’m doing, I practice taking care of myself and I feel true compassion for the suffering and pain of all. I liken it to being immersed in Spirit.
While having lunch with a friend last week, she told me she wished I wasn’t having to experience the sadness I was feeling, and that she was afraid it wasn’t good for me. After offering thanks to her for the loving concern she has for me, I attempted to explain what I knew in my heart, but didn’t know if I’d be able to express with words. I told her about knowing that because I was connected to creator energy and imbued with Spirit, that I had a well of joy and peace in the center of my being. Knowing and feeling that wellspring within enables me to experience the pain that I feel in my self, which I need to acknowledge and heal. I told her how I know I can be present to whatever surfaces in my life, because I know for a certainty that I can tap into that pool of joy and peace that is always in my core. I know it is there; I see it, I feel it, and it is my soft place to land. No matter what I feel or how much emotional pain I may be in, it’s okay to let it in, because it’s not going to kill me or take me to a place from which I cannot return.
My Self enables me to go forward in life, and when I’m present to that higher state of consciousness, I know I’m a beautiful, intelligent, worthwhile human being. It gives me courage and allows me to trust in something larger than myself, and to stand still and face the unknown. I know at those times that I’m a part of the whole and I understand my connection to the human family. This state of consciousness is becoming more and more familiar, and the longing of my soul is to find a way to stay in that place without falling into ego. Will I get there in this lifetime? I don’t know, but what I do know is that it’s the house I want to dwell in forever, and the table I want to sit at, as I fill myself with the taste of bread and honey.
HONEY AT THE TABLE by Mary Oliver
It fills you with the soft
essence of vanished flowers, it becomes
a trickle sharp as a hair that you follow
from the honey pot over the table
and out the door and over the ground,
and all the while it thickens,
grows deeper and wilder, edged
with pine boughs and wet boulders,
pawprints of bobcat and bear, until
deep in the forest you
shuffle up some tree, you rip the bark,
you float into and swallow the dripping combs,
bits of the tree, crushed bees-a taste
composed of everything lost, in which everthing
lost is found.