Knowing what is right and what is wrong in your own inner consciousness is insufficient. It is not the knowing of truth that transforms a person; it is the doing of truth that has an impact on you and on the other people that you interact with.
You may know that it is inappropriate to think selfishly and look out for your own best interests first, but your inner emotions may drive you to be blinded to the needs of others.
You may know that it is against your basic truth to judge another individual, but your inner emotions may cause you to look at that person and make a judgment because of the effect you are allowing them to have on your life.
You may understand that all of God's creatures were created equal, but that doesn't stop you, on an emotional level, from feeling that the human race is the most important life form on the planet.
The discrepancy lies not in a lack of information, for the information is available on a world-wide basis for those who would seek it, evaluate it, and accept it as their own; the discrepancy lies in the ability to integrate Universal Law into your lifestyle.
Awareness of the self does not just focus into the positive aspects of a personality, or the positive aspects of skills and talents that you brought with you into this lifetime, but into the negative as well; it is only when the positive is weighed against the negative, and the balanced perspective is used as a guidepost in integrating higher consciousness into the self that the influence becomes apparent in your relationships and in your lifestyle.
Self-actualization can be translated to mean, “making the self actual. " It means there is no difference between what you think and what you do. There is no contradiction between what you tell others and how you respond yourself. It is manifesting who you are and what you believe in on a day-to-day, consistent basis.
The path to self-awareness is a long and solitary one, and many individuals give up. It is difficult to accept what our conscious choices in the course of a specific existence have driven us to do to other people. It is hard for us to accept that we have been selfish, or resentful, or spiteful. It is hard for us to see where we have deliberately manipulated our lives so that we have control over the people and the situations and the events within it. It is not easy to admit that we are not the positive, smiling, loving person that we prefer to see ourselves as; when, in the course of personal growth, it becomes necessary for an individual to truly, honestly evaluate how they have interacted with their fellow human beings, the drop-out rate skyrockets.
This is unfortunate, because personal growth cannot proceed - self-awareness and self-actualization cannot be accomplished - without a true and open acknowledgement of who we used to be and how we used to live our lives, no matter how unpleasant that panorama may be.
This does not mean that we need to spend years of our lives suffering regret and remorse for the wrong we have done in their lives to other people. It does mean that we need to take a reasonable amount of time to look back and to evaluate honestly what was really at play in any particular situation, where the two parties were really coming from, and where each conducted themselves with less than universal love.
We cannot change the past; we cannot undo the influence that we have upon other people by our thoughts and our feelings and our reactions, but we can learn from that experience and make a personal commitment never to treat anyone with that lack of respect again. If that person is still in our life, we can have the grace to apologize, and share our learning experience, and say, “I'm sorry that I used to be like that. I want to be like this, now, and I hope that you will help. "
It is only by acknowledging our past weaknesses, and sharing our future aspirations, that we can experience the support and encouragement of others on our journey to self-actualization. If we are not willing to admit that we have ever made a mistake, ever reacted inappropriately, ever deliberately hurt someone, then we cannot admit that we need to change, or that we need other people's help in doing so.
It is, from a soul evolution perspective, self-defeating behavior to remain in situations made from the lower consciousness that create less than fulfilling situations and relationships in our lives.
Lois Grant-Holland is a Life Path Focus Counselor offering Life Path Focus Sessions, Karmic Astrology Charts, Channeled Guidance, Intuitive Readings and Classes and Workshops to spiritual seekers on all positive paths, and is the site facilitator at The A. N. S. W. E. R. - (The Seeker's Resource Guide to Alternative, New Thought, Spiritual Growth, Wellness and Enlightenment Resources. ) You can visit her website at http://www.loisgrantholland.com