When we are aware, we bear witness to the present moment. We pay attention to what is going on both within and around us. More than that, because of this attention we come to understand our place in the world. The world belongs to us as much as we belong to the world. Forces can act upon us, but we too have a force to put out into the world. Without this awareness, we become trapped in a destructive mindset that robs us of our power, casting us as a victim in the world.
On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“Part of our disease is looking outside ourselves for someone who will fix our lives for us. We sometimes even believe that God or a power greater than ourselves can make everything all right—that we just have to sit back and let it happen. Not so.
When we recognize that the force we believed to be outside of ourselves is indeed within us—then we begin to heal. Healing is the experience of the oneness of all things and our ability to take our place in that oneness.
As a society, our ‘other-directedness’ has been destructive. Changing to ‘me-ness’ and self-centeredness has not helped much either. Recognizing that we are one with all things and accepting our place in that oneness moves us into and beyond ourselves.”
Awareness is knowledge of our influence on the world. It is recognizing that we can control the direction of our lives, and in doing so, we also control the outcome to a certain extent. The power is in our hands. If we are unhappy about something in our lives, we can change it! If we don’t agree with something, we can stand up and speak out! Be the force that enacts change in ourselves and society. Awareness is the recognition that we must take action, for we are in control: no one else will come along to fix our lives for us. Only we have that power. We are at one with the world in the sense that everything is connected, we don’t live in a bubble, and everything we do has an impact on others in one way or another. Yet we are also individuals with a unique place in the world. Awareness is a balance between the concepts of the individual and a connected universe. When we can master this balancing act, we become one step closer to being whole.