“What you are aware of, you are in control of, what you are not aware of is in control of you. You are always a slave to what you’re not aware of. When you are aware of it, you’re free from it. It’s there, but you’re not affected by it.” – Anthony de Mello in Awareness.
I was chatting to a friend recently and was struck by something he said. He was discussing the possibility of having to have a difficult conversation. I asked him what he feared and he gave an answer which amounted to ‘social awkwardness’. It simply wasn’t the real fear.
In reading Anthony de Mello’s quote I realised how vitally important it is to name the deepest awareness we have. We have to speak the best version of the truth we can possibly access. As we do that over and over again we become aware of new levels. More of the things which control us gradually come into focus. As we learn to name them, we slowly become free of their control over us.
But this will never happen if we are satisfied with the first answer that pops into our minds. The surface fears are real, but for the most part they are huge distractors. If we allow them to dominate the conversation we’ll never get to any of the real drivers. When the real driver comes into view it is often a little embarrassing, but the liberation is so much greater.
We need to name the real fear that we have, its the only possible entry to interior freedom.