Let’s examine three energies of self on the path of spirit. They are Self-Awareness; Self-Actualization, and Self-Realization.
Self-awareness is the way we understand why we do what we do. Most of the time we tend to live in an unconscious reactive state. Something happens and we react to it. Self-awareness allows us to develop an understanding of our reactive states. Sometimes we might start by using a handy label- we tell ourselves we act in certain ways because we come from a dysfunctional family, we’re an incest survivor, we are recovering from something (alcohol, drugs, abuse, trauma, etc.). If we discover that we are not a victim we begin to realize we can change our minds about relationships, reactions, and what our past means to us. As humans we are part of a collective: families, peers/friends, organizations, support groups, cultural or educational identities; as well as a gender, a national, ethnic, or societal group. If we want to be different we have to understand how these collectives function and what our payoff is by belonging to them. Defining ourselves and then determining, through questioning, if our identity is the one we really want is part of self-awareness.
This is not self-judgment, self-criticism, or self-hatred. It is a logical assessment of the choices that have led us to where we are and a well thought out assessment of where we might choose to go or who we might choose to be. It’s deciding how we got where we are, and determining what’s next. Self-awareness is fine tuning the energy of our lives.
Self-actualization means being able to manifest what we want to manifest. It’s the ability to motivate ourselves into creating and achieving goals. We do this through clear visualization and affirmation. Affirmation is not a wish statement. It’s a clear intention of what we plan to accomplish. A true affirmation is made with knowledge that the goal is possible. A wish statement might be: I want my house to sell in two weeks. An affirmative statement is: I know that my house will sell to the right buyer.
When we are self-actualized we are not praying, begging, or hoping for divine intervention. We are aware that a clear, concise plan and the personal energy to manifest that plan will bring the desired results. And when our original plan doesn’t work we are able to adjust it without fear, guilt, or blame. Getting our life to be focused, creative, and fulfilling becomes more important than excuses, self-recriminations, and a sense of failure.
Self-realization is the knowledge that we are sacred beings, a child of Divine Spirit, and that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with us. To reach this state of consciousness requires that we have a self-actualized, and self-aware life. With self-realization or Divine Realization we understand that the only important things in life are to be kind, compassionate, generous, and to offer freely the gifts of grace we have been given.
The Path of Spirit is a do-it-yourself project. There is no savior, just teachers along the way who can give us formulas or tools to get the job done. We are the only one’s who can actually do the job of expressing love, joy, and peace within our relationships, our communities, and ourselves. To come to Spirit-Realization is to become effective, magical, whole, and powerful in the energy of being our sacred self. This is true self-realization.