Why does it make you so happy when you get a compliment from a stranger, a compliment you can’t accept? It’s a compliment, after all, and it’s one that is rarely returned. Instead, it is the acknowledgement of someone who has been there and walked you through the process of learning to be honest, kind, and considerate. When you are genuinely appreciating a person’s time, energy, or expertise, it is a great feeling.
I love the phrase “you are so fortunate,” and it is often the first thing I encounter when being complimented. I love the “I am so thankful you are here,” one of the most common compliments I receive.
It is a beautiful thing to be appreciated and honored with words, so I can’t help but think that having a personal philosophy or spiritual practice that is appreciated is the way to go. If I know I am appreciated for something, I am more likely to do it. When someone is appreciating you for something, it is easy to be selfish, and it makes it harder for you to enjoy what you have to offer.
It’s a beautiful thing to be complimented, but that doesn’t mean you should be overly self-conscious about it. Self-awareness is not self-consciousness, and that is certainly not self-love. Self-love is about how one feels about themselves, not whether others think they are beautiful. Sometimes being complimented, especially in person, can feel like you are being treated less than you deserve.
So many things we take for granted can be taken for granted because we expect ourselves to act in a way that is not the most respectful and kind to others. If you expect yourself to be the kind and gentle person to be complimented, you may not be giving yourself the kind of compliment that you deserve.
This is where the idea of self-awareness comes in. There are many other ways of self-awareness, but this one is going to be about doing it more.
Self-awareness is the ability to recognize our own behavior and emotions, not just our own actions. Self-awareness is the ability to recognize that other people have opinions about you and that they think of you as a person. And while this is important, the real way to show off your self-awareness is to go beyond it. So many people think they are just not aware of what others think of them, but they are not. This is the true measure of self-awareness.
So, when I say self-awareness, I really mean that someone is aware of themselves. They don’t just have an ego, they have a sense of self. And if this is not the case, then that person is suffering from “self-awareness deficit,” which is the inability to recognize that they’re in fact aware of themselves. Not only are we aware of ourselves, but it is our responsibility to be aware of ourselves.
I was a little concerned when I first heard the term self-awareness. I thought it sounded too self-conscious and too much like self-improvement 101. I mean, if someone has the right to be self-aware, then shouldn’t everyone be aware of themselves? After all, if a person can’t be aware of themselves, they can’t be aware of anything. The term self-aware implies that you are aware of your own behavior and personality.
We do not have to be aware of ourselves to be aware of death. Although we are not the only people who know themselves, the world is the most dangerous place you can go to to know yourself. If you have the right to be aware of yourself, then you have the right to live.