Awareness

Okay, so I’m aware it’s been months since I wrote in here. I’m also aware I’m not willing to let this idea of a blog vanish and thus I am resurrecting it for the new year.

It is also going to become a Crafting Blog as well as a Counselling Thoughts blog. Crafting stuff is to come, first it’s to finish off what was meant to be two blog posts linked together, awareness and acceptance.

Perhaps the reason I couldn’t write this is that I’ve pretty much had a year off from counselling things and now that I’m focussing on my essay whole heartedly again, I can allow myself to be more aware of things again too.

Awareness goes hand in hand with acceptance for me. But if one had to come first, it would be acceptance as without this, awareness can simply be another bat with which to beat ourselves up.

“I do this!” Bash!

“I don’t do that” Bosh!

And what’s the point in that?

Learning comes in stages and the structure I’ve found most useful to measure this by is:

Unconscious Incompetance

Conscious Incompetence

Conscious Competence

Unconscious Competence

A lot of the time, without acceptance, without being kind to ourselves, we can get stuck on stage two, the stage where our awareness is developing. Here, we become aware of just how shit we are at whatever new thing we are trying to do! Before this stage, our awareness wasn’t developed enough to know this. Now it is. And what a long way we have to go, and look at just how wobbly we are and how many times we fall over! Our awareness is painfully sharp at this stage and if we’re not careful it can cut us to ribbons making us long for the simpler stage of not knowing anything!

Yet this stage is vital to us moving on, growing and developing. Without knowing our incompetence, we can’t change it! But knowing isn’t the endgame, we have to accept our not-knowing and allow it otherwise all our energy goes on hitting ourselves with that big incompetent hammer.

Eventually we get to the stage where we can walk without thinking about it, type without searching for every single letter, work that software without pressing F1 for help and read without looking the words up in a dictionary first.

Awareness is vital for a counsellor, and a continuing commitment to awareness, a promise to keep examining and re-examining the darker corners of our mental cupboards, an awareness that no matter how much we think we do we can never trust that we truly know and understand our clients so must be aware that things maybe different to what we think (that’s a truly awful sentence, but I hope you get my meaning!!)

It’s tough. Because this means there’s never a point you can sit back and go “there is it, that’s where we are, that’s what is going on right now”. This would piss me off no end in counselling and supervision sessions and many times I wanted to throw a tantrum and shout “well what’s the bloody point of anything if I have to keep everything in my awareness!”

The control freak that I am demands absolutes and answers, the counsellor I am becoming is aware this will never happen.

What do you do with the things that you are aware of?

Do you hide from them, pretend you’re not aware of them?

Use them as tools for growth?

Use them to beat yourself up with?

Nothing, these things are just there?

Any combination of the above?

May 2011 being more awareness of myself and others and the dynamics between us. May it also give me the ability to accept life as it is and work with instead of against it.

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