Are you self-aware?

The following is from Bruce Lee’s hand-written essay entitled, The Passionate State of Mind, which I discovered in the Artist of Life by J Little.

To become different from what we are, we must have some awareness of what we are. Whether being different results in dissimulation or a real change of heart—it cannot be realized without self-awareness. Yet is is remarkable that the very people who are most self-dissatisfied and crave most for a new identity have the least self-awareness. They have turned away from an unwanted self and hence never had a good look at it. The result is that those most dissatisfied can neither dissimulate nor attain a real change of heart. They are transparent, and their unwanted qualities persist through all attempts at self-dramatization and self-transformation.

~ Bruce Lee

I wish I had read that 30 years ago. But I suspect I wouldn’t have understood it then. I only understand because of the path I’ve taken through my life. Bruce Lee was exceptional because he asked questions and he followed those lines of enquiry wherever they led, often inward into his thinking, beliefs and goals.

Are you self-aware enough to ask, “am I satisfied with myself?”

…and what are you going to do with the answer?

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There’s a quote from my favorite book, The Phantom Tollbooth, that comes to mind:

“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.”

I’ve learned in meditations that there are layers, levels, and rooms for depths of awareness. Satisfaction can fill the spaces that I bring or seek value to - consciously or not. With myself? But there are so many parts and not one engulfs my full being. And if I were to define satisfaction with myself, what begins where satisfaction ends?