We are spiritual being embodied in human form living on a human earth with other spiritual being in human form living out their life on human earth! –Barbara Banks Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well.—Psalm 139:14
WHO YOU ARE as a Human Being
How rare it is to find ourselves in human form on Earth. Appreciate the fact that we are here as individual spirits filled with consciousness, drinking water and chopping wood. No other life form has the consciousness of being that we are privilege to…not an ant or worm or butterfly or dog, or a hundred year old oak tree, or the thousand year old patch of ocean. We are blessed in this time and in this place to be human beings, alive in rare ways we often take for granted.
–Mark Nepo from The Book of Awakening
While we are created uniquely in our physical form, what makes us authentically unique from each other is our consciousness. Consciousness is
- the state of being awake and aware of one’s surroundings.
- the awareness or perception of something by a person.
- the fact of awareness by the mind of itself and the world.
Mindfulness, insight, intuition, and discernment are other words that describe this unique ability as humans.
Consciousness grants the ability to:
- have and form opinions and judgments,
- experience and feel a full spectrum of emotions from empathy, appreciation, love, joy and compassion, to apathy, ungratefulness, fear, anger and impatience
- comprehend, gain knowledge, and apply wisdom
- have and form passions and desires
- be aware and relate to others
Consciousness is influenced by many factors. Here are just a few:
- where and how one was raised
- authority figures: parents, teachers, preaches, bosses
- others’ opinions and judgments
- the world’s views of success, beauty, gender roles, etc, that come through social norms and media
- experiences good and bad
- friends and associates
- groups and organizations one belongs to
We each have conscious minds that are affected by different influences. These in turn influence our thoughts (mental processes), feelings (emotions) and behaviors (will or choices). If you recall from last week’s post, this is the HEART of who you are—your essence of “being”. Our ability to be conscious is thus a gift for us to use to live a more joyfilled, whole hearted, full life.
WHO YOU ARE as a Spiritual Being
Not long ago one of my favorite Christian devotions quoted Saint Catherine of Siena which spurred me on to read about her and her writings. One of her basic premises is that to know WHO YOU ARE, you must have self-knowledge and know who God is. For by knowing who God is, you will discover who you are. (If you’d like to read more about this and about St. Catherine, click here.)
Quotes by St. Catherine:
“The soul is in God and God in the soul, just as the fish is in the sea and the sea in the fish.”
“In your nature, eternal Godhead, I shall come to know my nature. And what is my nature, boundless Love? It is fire, because you are nothing but a fire of love. And you have given humankind a share in this nature for by the fire of love you created us.”
[The eternal Father to Catherine:] “And since I in the beginning created man to my own image and likeness, and afterwards too your image on myself by assuming human nature [Jesus], it is always my endeavor, in so far as you are fit for it, to intensify that likeness between me and you.”
[The eternal Father to Catherine:] “Do you know, daughter, who you are and who I am? If you know these two things you will have beatitude within your grasp. You are she who is not, and I AM HE WHO IS.”
To know WHO YOU ARE, knowing WHO GOD IS is imperative. You are made in God’s likeness. Part of Him is in you. A part of you is in Him. Developing your spiritual life in the form of bible reading, studying, praying, journaling, meditation, contemplation, or any other form of spiritual discipline will be a powerful aspect to living whole heartedly. To be authentic and to know WHO YOU ARE, you cannot ignore who created you, why you were created, what you were created for. These are often the questions we ask when we are searching for the meaning of life or the personal meaning of our existence, especially when painful and soul wrenching experiences happen to us or others.
To know WHO YOU ARE self-knowledge is important. You are unique by how you perceive, by what you are aware of, by the perceptions you have, by the opinions and passions that you hold. These are the things that drive your BEING and DOING in the world. What is produced in your life is an outcome of your consciousness. Areas to look at are health, finances, self-esteem, relationships, work, and home. When our consciousness is concentrating on surviving in the world, habits, beliefs and thoughts can be negatively and falsely shaped leading to an unfulfilling and joyless life in many or all of these areas.
Your ability and gift of consciousness can bring awareness to what you are producing. This is not to become self-focused, narcissistic, or overly self-conscious. It is to become more aware of the choices you are making and what is influencing those choices.
Are your choices driven by outside influences or your spirit?
Are you being lead by God or what the world says you should do?
Are you hearing the heart of who you are or other people’s opinions about who you are?
There is a sweet interplay between our ability to be conscious as human beings and keeping our focus on our WHO WE ARE spiritually. Becoming more conscious of the spiritual aspect of WHO YOU ARE will create positive outcomes in your life. When we become more conscious spiritually, here is what we can discover:
- past programming that isn’t serving us
- beliefs that are untrue about who we are
- insight into who we in fact can be
- perceptual shifts that allow us to become more of what we truly are and long to be
- experiences of satisfying joy and fulfillment
- more authentic trust and intimacy
- purpose and meaning to our life
I’d love to hear your heart. In the comment section below, tell me what is one of your ways to be more conscious about WHO YOU ARE humanly or spiritually?