A colleague once said to us: “Oh, the curse of self-awareness.  Sometimes it’s easier to not know why I do things and just go blindly through life.”

We often feel the same way.  Sometimes blindness is bliss.  “Waking-up” certainly isn’t a pain free journey.

People tell us that learning about the shift from the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) ™ to TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) ™  is comforting at first and helps them to understand more about their thinking and the unskillful ways they react to situations.

They also tell us that, sometimes, these simple but not easy ways of thinking, relating and taking action can cause them more stress and self-criticism.  They occasionally ask: “Now that I know about TED*, shouldn’t I be able to live without drama all the time?”

Oh, the curse of self-awareness.  If only all of life could be drama free—-but that is not the human experience.

Donna’s daughter, McKenzie, is a gifted counselor and nutritionist.  She works with clients who want to transform their relationship with food and their body.  She tells her clients: “Self-awareness without compassion is warfare.”

It takes a moment for the power of that statement to sink in.  Isn’t the journey of self-awareness supposed to be full of goodness and bliss?

Because many of her clients have a strong inner Persecutor, and are critical of their bodies and eating habits, she teaches them that self-compassion is the secret to personal change and transformation.

Learning to grow and develop requires new insights, which is the gift of being human.  We’re the only species, though, that can become self-critical about our human qualities.   Think about it.  Birds don’t self-reflect about being birds or how they fly.  Fish don’t think about how they breathe and swim under water.

The benefit of being self-aware is that you can reflect on who you are and who you want to be.  You can plan ahead, create options, evaluate your progress, adjust and make better choices as you learn.   Personal awareness can also conjure up self-criticism, ruminating on the past, what you could have said or done, or worrying about the future.

Becoming more self-aware is a recent phenomenon in the evolution of human consciousness.  Medieval kings, priests and tribal chiefs governed with an iron hand and, if people didn’t listen or questioned their orders, they weren’t alive very long.

Responding to the innate desire to be independent and free, modern society and governing systems have evolved in many parts of the world.  This new freedom can liberate you from your self-imposed tyranny of self-criticism and reactive drama if—-and it is a big if—-you can give yourself a break and have a little self-compassion.  Otherwise the journey is fraught with more stress and works against your learning and growth.

When David learned about the Karpman Drama Triangle many years ago and realized he had been living his life from the victim mentality, he asked: “I don’t want to live from a victim stance anymore, but what is the alternative?”

It is with that question and painful moment that he began the journey of self-awareness that revealed an alternate triangle with more resourceful and effective ways of living.

It’s not a pain-free journey.   Your true essence as a Creator wants to learn from your stumbles and set-backs.  The compassion that you would show to anyone in pain, is the fertilizer that will ignite your inner Creator, when you give that same dose of compassion to yourself.

If you would like to learn more about McKenzie Zajonc’s Food and Body Counseling program visit www.innernutritionist.com.