Self Awareness Isn’t Enough

Erik Cooper —  March 8, 2012 — 7 Comments

I’ve gotten to know myself pretty well over the past few years. Why I think the way I think. React the way I react.

Why I wrestle with making decisions.

Why I want you to feel good about me before I feel good about myself.

Why I usually start from the assumption that my gut instinct is wrong.

Why I back down from my opinion if I sense you disagree.

Lots of things I’ve disclosed and processed here on the blog. Self awareness is more than just cathartic. It’s important.

You’ve got your own list, too. Some of you are just more aware of its content. Your own sin. Your own brokenness. The effects of a dysfunctional and fallen world pressing in around you. It’s there.

But let me give you a key piece of advice:

Self awareness is only half the battle, but sometimes we want to stop and hide there. It’s one thing to understand the lies that feed your brokenness, it’s another thing altogether to step courageously into the truth.

It’s great to be able to acknowledge your people pleasing tendencies when someone challenges your character. It’s even better to live into the truth of who God made you to be in the mist of all those questions.

It’s great to understand why you avoid intimacy when things get tough. It’s even better to learn to push into relationship when everything in you says to run.

It’s great to comprehend why you stay quiet about your perspectives when you’re in a large group of people. It’s even better to boldly express what you really think and let others be responsible for how they choose to respond.

Self awareness is so important. Dig up your ugly roots. Study them. Grab a microscope. Diagnose.

But don’t stop with just understanding your brokenness. Start living into the truth. That’s the most important part. The part that really matters.

The part that requires the most courage.

7 responses to Self Awareness Isn’t Enough

  1. Hey Eric,
    I share the same list, and I am very aware of the rest of my list also. We probably share a few more.
    That 2nd part is so hard. To press in. To risk rejection. Not so easy. But, so necessary. Some days the woman God created me to be, shines through. But, when I sense even the slightest hint of rejection (real or imagined), that feeling that I’ve fallen from grace so to speak in another’s eyes or heart, boy does the mind go berserk. The battle for me comes because in that fear of rejection, I agree with the thoughts. I believe I am worthy of rejection. Only the complete and full acceptance of God’s love for me can heal that completely. Thanks for your honesty. I respect it, and in turn I see that I can respect myself even when I’m a little whacky.

    • Thanks for the feedback Faith. I think part of our healing can be enhanced by realizing we’re not the only ones. We’re not nuts. We’re not alone. We’re just human. Someone just has to “go first.”

      And grace abounds…

  2. I LOVE your blog! My husband & I read every post, and are amazed how 99% of the time, they speak directly to our current situation. If you ever put these in print, I would LOVE to have a copy that I can easily thumb back thru. Good stuff to read again & again. And to share with others. Thanks for all the straight-to-it thoughts. It’s so nice to hear a pastor is human too.

    • Thanks so much Tara. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate the encouragement. I’m nothing if not human. 🙂

      You never know about print, but until then you can always use the search feature to “virtually thumb through” all the past ramblings.

      God bless….

  3. Nice tho’ts, but not possible on this planet.

  4. Erik
    I actually found you by Googling a friend with the same name. I’m in Atlanta at 12Stone Church. Great word, advice, and wisdom in your post. I look forward to more. Thank you for putting your feelings online. It’s hard to do but God uses such courage to reach the unreachable. My mentor was a pastor for 47 years. I think I get how the daily struggle for transparency can be. I know in my life it can be a decision by decision, moment by moment thing. Myself “stop and hide there” <—-Guilty as charged.

    • Hey Ken….thanks for taking the time to reach out. So you know another “Erik Cooper?” Must be a great guy. 🙂 Transparency and vulnerability is a daily challenge, for sure. This blog has been a great platform for me to make sure I don’t run and hide (at least too much). Hopefully we can all continue challenge each other to stay out in the open, living into truth. Great to “meet” you here Ken.

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