Homely, strange homeland.
Expeditions into one’s own self.
Self-awareness? – How does one even do that?
My dear colleague Tina Kowalow gave me this question. It’s a fair question and one she was asked once.
Have you ever taken a guest through your home parish and wondered what he noticed, and you had never seen it before? For example, a Madonna figure in a house wall. We often forget that the world we move in is our world, the construction of what we perceive and expect.
When we walk through our world with a stranger, we are forced to see it through his eyes. As a result, our image of the world expands. From now on, we will see this Madonna, too. Our world has grown.
When we walk through the landscape of ourselves that is so familiar to us, it is the same. Of course, we feel that we know our way around it. But, of course, we also know that there are great interesting areas worth seeing that we have never visited.
As with my village, I can say to myself, today I’m going to walk through the alleys I’ve never been in or didn’t like at all last time. Then, I can set out on my own to explore myself.
Besides thinking about my feelings and thoughts, my past and my desires, it helps, for example, if I put these thoughts down on paper, for instance, if I write in a diary.
It also helps me imagine a dear guest accompanying me and describing what he sees. This forces me to change my perspective on myself.
I also learn a lot about myself when I consciously go into situations I habitually avoid and pay attention to what feelings and thoughts are triggered in me. What ideas of escape do I develop, and what desires arise in me?
I can do this self-experiment in the real world, but I can also visit the areas in my emotional world that I’m not particularly eager to look at.
However, self-experimentation is much more effective when I invite flesh and blood guests to walk with me through the landscape of my inner life.
When I enlist the help of counsellors, coaches or therapists, they accompany and support me on my way and ensure that I don’t stumble.
The same applies to self-awareness events in groups. In both cases, it is essential to pay close attention to the professional quality of the professionals.