Self-evolution & the Creative Essence of Change.
Self-awareness is a tricky thing. The self is constantly evolving.
Self-awareness can be impeded by wrong judgments and perceptions we have harbored of others. It could also be impeded by attachments to assumed ideals that may or may not be valuable to a fulfilling life.
A friend of mine has been stuck for years on the self-view that he has an intimidating temper, blaming himself for his mother’s ulcers. What he does not know is that he intimates more than intimidates.
Michel Foucault defines the aesthetics of existence as,
“Those voluntary and deliberate practices according to which men not only set themselves rules of conduct but also seek to transform themselves, to change themselves in their singular being, and to make their life into a work of art [une oeuvre] that carries certain aesthetic values and meets certain stylistic criteria.”
Self-awareness must give way to self-creation and must generate self-love. Self-love in turn leads to self-creation which can be progressive or regressive, constructive or destructive.
Amid this dynamic, the self is constantly leaking to the public. Parts of the self may be concealed out of choice but it comes with much expending of energy. Whereas for a person who wants to create good relationships with others, self-revelation comes naturally, spontaneous, requiring less energy to expose true nature.
Often though, spontaneous persons can be intimidating to others. They reek of a fearlessness that calls for the same from those around them, and can compel others to face themselves while they are unprepared and unwilling.
Perception plays a big part in how this dynamic plays out.
“Appa Dipo Bhava — be a light unto yourself.” ~ Buddha
Seeing the sparkle of a diamond in the blackness of coal is the task of self-creation; to be inspired by your own potential, believe in your promise, nurture your capabilities, and reward yourself with joy and respect.
Personal transformation requires much humor — to laugh at our own mistakes and how not everyone gets us. These are acts of self-love.
“You can’t wait for inspiration. Sometimes you have to go after it with a club.” ~ Jack London
We must constantly re-examine our assumptions, why we think certain things weigh over others, and what closes us up to some.
Valuing relationships can result in self-constraints to honor our social agreements, such as marriage, parenthood, leadership, but so long as we remain constantly aware of why we are where we are in those relationships, we can fulfill them and be equally fulfilled by them.
In fact upholding decisions can be empowering, while change can be disarming. Thus, we must live deliberately open to both. A deep self-love is the fount from which we can love other people and create a better world.
“The inner peace that often results from this transformational process is the product of a complete uncovering of the self. It is as if the individual is turned inside out and all of the fundamental assumptions, beliefs, judgments, and ideas were brought into the light and examined, discarded, refined, or embraced with a greater level of understanding.” ~ Abdul Lateef Abdullah
Our interconnectedness is so vast and deep. Our self-revelation influences others as we are constantly either leading or misleading them into certain beliefs and lead them to learn lessons from our behavior, its consequences, and our very lives.
There is much significance in simply living with peace. We do change the world by changing ourselves. But a lot of that will come from perception (self-awareness), valuation (self-love), and imagination (self-creation). What we reek, leak, and bleed to the world creates it. How we cultivate good inside us is a service to humanity and builds it.