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“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” ~ Carl Jung
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in why we do what we do, why we behave in the ways we behave.
I think we all want to be happy and to live lives with meaning and fulfillment. This comes through living a life aligned with who we truly are.
We can’t live life in this way without awareness.
We can’t live life intentionally without awareness.
In a way, I feel like most of us just walk around simply knee-jerkingly reacting to things due to past pain, fears, wounds, beliefs, and conditioning—walking around reacting unconsciously to everything, being moved by thoughts and beliefs that we don’t even know that we have.
Most of us just continue to react and play out the same old patterns, never questioning the deeper layers, never seeking to understand why we are how we are—why we do what we do, why think what we think, why we believe what we believe.
We take our reactions, thoughts, and beliefs as concrete parts of us—but many of our beliefs and our thoughts are not even our own. They’ve come to us through others, through things outside of us. We’ve unconsciously taken on a lot that we’re not aware of, a lot that may not even really align with our hearts, with who we truly we are.
And unless we become aware, we won’t see what’s happening.
And if we don’t see what’s happening, we won’t be able to shift or change. We won’t be able to do things differently.
We won’t be able to live life intentionally, in a way that feels right to us.
It’s important to understand that we are influenced by so many things that we don’t even understand.
We’re influenced by familial, societal, and cultural conditioning. We’re influenced by our race, gender, and socioeconomic status. We’re influenced by the towns, cities, and countries where we grew up. We’re influenced by experiences we’ve had in our lives and by the way people in our lives lived their lives when we were young.
We can look to family conditioning and see how we may have beliefs, tendencies, and reactions that are similar to our parents or loved ones who we grew up with—or that are an outgrowth of experiences we had in childhood or other times in our past.
Our understanding of what it means to live in this world and the actual way we live in it are influenced by so many different factors. Sometimes it feels like we’re made up of layers of all of these external outside things that cover over the purity, the truth of who we are.
One of our jobs in life, I feel, is to peel away those layers—it’s to discover who we are beneath them. It’s to remove those layers so that we can get to our core, so we can tune into who we truly are.
I think it’s important that we inquire into ourselves, that we remain curious, open, and interested in learning about ourselves.
We don’t have to, of course, but if we want to live intentional lives, we have to cultivate self-awareness. We have to live with self-awareness.
If we want to live with inner authority and self-love, we have to be true to ourselves.
Part of this journey of self-awareness is discovering who we are beneath all of the external conditioning we’ve unknowingly taken on. It’s unraveling the layers that are wrapped around us. It’s teasing apart all of the different factors influencing us, so we can see what’s true for us.
It’s questioning even what we take to be the most solid, unshakable parts of us.
To do this, we have to be curious, open, and interested.
We have to want it.
We have to want to learn.
We have to want to see.