How can I become more self-aware?
Two people were walking on the road, and there was garbage on the side of the road. One person saw the garbage but walked past it without picking it up, and the other person didn’t even see that garbage at all and walked past it. So, which one of those two people has a better chance of picking up the garbage and putting it in the trash can in the end?
Do you think you are well aware of yourself? Do you know why you think and behave in a certain way? Do you know why you feel comfortable with some people and not with others, why you can’t handle certain situations and they give you a hard time? Do you know how to live your life and are you confident about it? The first step to knowing myself is accepting the fact that I do not damn know about myself. Only then I will be able to try to know.
Now, try and think of the people you know in your mind. With each person that comes to your mind, their strength and weaknesses will come up as well. It won’t be too difficult for you to list different aspects of that person. The reason why you can do that is that you are able to separate yourself from the other person and have a somewhat objective perspective. However, it is often the case that something that is so easily recognized by others is something that the person is only not aware of. This means that it’s easy to be blinded about myself what everyone else knows about it.
Then, why is it that I can’t observe myself properly? The reason why is that you are blinded by self-pity and attachment to yourself. I can’t look at myself objectively and we easily justify ourselves. For example, when your coworker makes a mistake, it’s easy to judge him as being ‘careless’. However, when I make the same mistake, what first comes to my mind is the excuse why I couldn’t help but make a mistake, which stops me from recognizing my wrongdoing. This is why we end up having double standards. There is a Korean saying well expressed about this. “If you do it, it’s an affair. But if I do it, it’s a romance.”
Now, let’s go back to the two people walking on the road where there’s garbage on the side of the road. There’s garbage on the road, and it is a fact. It won’t magically disappear just because you didn’t see it and walked past it. In the end, the garbage will be left lying around, and rot and stink. Therefore, it will make people around that person won’t want to be with him. But this pity, ignorant man continues to suffer helplessly in the worsening situation without knowing the truth. What a bummer! At least the person who saw the garbage has some hope because he can realize that it’s because of that garbage when the environment becomes less pleasant and can take care of it.
That’s the power of being self-aware. When you recognize and admit your weaknesses and ugly sides instead of rationalizing or hiding them, you will be a great captain on a cruise, sailing through a beautiful journey instead of wracking your life.
In that sense, meditation is a very good way to be able to detach from yourself. Take some time to close your eyes and solely focus on yourself. As you take away the stories, backgrounds, and titles that have been covering you up, you will face your whole, naked self in the end. And you will realize that ✔️you are not how you grew up, or ✔️where you come from, or ✔️what your skin color is. ✔️You are not just someone’s wife or husband, and ✔️you can’t be the work that you do or ✔️the results that you make either. That’s not true your self but just a shell.
True life will begin once you find your true self. You have to find that precious treasure and live that miraculous life because that is what’s real and true.