Why awareness expands
It is strange how it might be obvious that our awareness expands, that it grows and increases over time, however our awareness of how our awareness is increasing seems to be very limited, you can not look in a mirror and see the difference. In any particular moment we can be aware of ourselves, our environment and our life situation, but we are not aware of being different that we are experiencing things in a new way because of how our awareness has expanded. It is only when we look back deliberately at the actions we have taken, that we experience a sense that we acted in a new way that we know whether we have acted better or worse. That is the root of the emotional state of guilt, when we have the current awareness that our actions were poor and that current awareness comes from our experiences of our actions.
Again it might be self-evident that in the moment that we feel guilt we only do so because we have a greater awareness of how our actions make us feel and others. Instead of feeling good that our awareness has increased, our egos take over and compares our current awareness with our past actions which as it is a poor comparison it produces the punishing emotions of guilt. The seven-year-old voice that tells us what we should, must and ought not to have done, it is the voice of our parents telling us that we have been a bad child, it combines two powerful distortions in thinking of labelling ourselves as bad and the should, must and ought to, standards of behaviour that are impossible to live up to.
However by stepping back and becoming the watcher of our thoughts and egos, we are able to change the story and thoughts are just little stories that the ego tells us in its attempt to protect us by conforming to herd and social behaviour. We can tell ourselves instead, that this is evidence of our awareness increasing, that we are growing beings of consciousness, and part of that growth is making mistakes, having failures and learning from them. The only way to experience making a bad decision or acting in a poor manner is to do so, it does not mean you have to do deliberately upset people or acting a greedy manner. If you are out there living your life and meeting new and interesting people, sometimes you are going to act poorly, mess things up and say things that with hindsight you would not have chosen to say. You would not want to act and live a life where everything you said was carefully thought about and scripted well ahead of any conversation, there is a simple pleasure in saying the first things that comes to your mind or even better to be able to speak from your quiet voice, the intuition and the heart of source. If you try to guard yourself against imperfection you will put up such a defensive wall that is impossible to breach and truly connect with other people, it is one of the many reasons that the perfect is the enemy of the good.
By being forgiving of ourselves we are enabled to grow faster and guilt if we allow it to, teaches us and demonstrates that our awareness is growing which under any other circumstances is incredibly difficult to notice. It is like trying to notice the silence in orchestral piece of music, you might be aware of some silence in the music, but could you be aware of how much silence there was and whether you were aware of more silence this time than the last time you listened to it. It is the power of guilt that illuminates the depth of our awareness and there is also a silent offer implied with guilt that gives you the opportunity to forgive, and the person that it is most difficult to give is yourself and why should that be, why should it be harder to forgive yourself. It is because you are not actually forgiving, you are letting go of your ego and the ego does not like it, it is energy, it is action over time and it is conscious of stimulus. That is it reacts and is conscious in the same way that fire is conscious of the stored energy in fuel and reacts to it by using it, so the ego does the same, it reacts to the fuel of the energy of your emotions and converts it into thought, and particularly the kind of thoughts that fuels it and produces more emotions. The ego feeds on bringing your awareness to those thoughts, feelings and emotions, and in doing so it draws your awareness to the past and future that produces more energy for it. However you can choose to bring your awareness back to the present at any moment.
That is what awareness is, it is energy in its purest form, where you are putting your awareness is where you are putting your energy. As a stoic when I remember to exercise my choice, and when it comes to the mind you have to constantly exercise that choice again and again. I want my energy to be focused in the current moment, because that is the only moment of time that my energy is able to directly affect. When you give your awareness and thoughts to the past or future, you are stealing energy from the present moment, and there is a time and place for thoughts of past or future, the past can teach you and prepare you for the current moment, the future can give us direction and clarity as to what we should be doing in the current moment.
When we are lost in the past and future that energy is wasted, our thoughts should be focused on the current moment, however the ego has a habit of feeding on all the energy, and the more energy you give it the more important it thinks it is, the more it wants you to relive the feelings and thoughts you had, so you are ready for the next time it happens, and it is a type of storytelling that fully immerses you in the moment you had before, you have to remember that the ego is trying to teach a child not fully aware adult. It is up to you take control of your awareness, no one else is going to do it for you, it is your full responsibility to become an adult that is able to choose between the ego voices and rise above them, and when you do so, your awareness expands.