Four Levels of Awareness Vital for Your Coping
Notes on the Sunday address by Dr Francis Macnab, 27 December 2015.
By John Abbate.
Distressing events that happen to us often continue to occupy our thoughts, even though such rumination only makes things worth. “Life is always being lived afterwards,” said Dr Macnab. “How can we realistically take control of our future when we’ll be forever affected by what happened in the past?”
It takes courage to let go, to find release from our past adversities. In this final address of 2015, Dr Macnab asks, “How will you live now, afterwards?” Now that Christmas is over, however it has left you, where will you find the courage, the awareness, to live life forward?
Dr Macnab suggests we recognise four levels of awareness that can have a transformative power:
1. We cannot go back; we cannot predict the future. Tolstoy said there is only one time that is important: now. The first level of awareness is an awareness of the present moment. Only in the present do we have the power to act. “The present moment is the moment that calls for the best expression of heart and soul,” said Dr Macnab.
2. The second layer of awareness is the awareness of our inner emotional strengths. In The Courage to Be, Paul Tillich wrote of the courage of self-affirmation as the essential nature of every being. It is the courage to embrace our highest good in spite of anxiety over the threat of non-being.
3. The third level of awareness is a consciousness of the supportive, validating and enhancing nature of our interpersonal relationships, as well as the many gifts of the wider interpersonal world: its art, music, history, and literature.
4. The fourth level of awareness involves an alertness to the variety of resources we’ve been given. There are many possibilities at our disposal; the human personality is capable of many responses to the situations that confront it. This involves an awareness of the question: What kind of person will you be?
“Without an excessive belief in a fantasy of the future, you close the doors…on yourself, on others, on the unfolding awareness of the rich possibilities of your existence,” said Dr Macnab.