Recalling the first sermon I preached, having wondered about nerves because of previous public speaking anxieties, I was pleasantly surprised to find—perhaps under the anointing of God—I was free to be with those I was preaching to and to be real. (I’ve not always felt so in the groove at the pulpit since.)
We know when we’ve reached the highest point of our performance. It’s when all self-consciousness fades from the moment and there seems to be a symphony of oneness between us and our immediate world, including everyone present. We’re lost within, and to, this moment. It’s a thoroughly wonderful experience. And time becomes abstract, palpable; almost irrelevant. Self-consciousness has, for that moment at least, disappeared.
Describing Polar Opposites
As far as experience is concerned, we can contrast anxious nervousness, for example in public speaking, the fact of hyper-self-consciousness, with that state of being where there’s consciousness only for the overall experience—our person lost faithfully within it; our soul’s sown most completely into what we’re doing.
We know the former experience oh so well. Most of our lives are a litany of nervousness for this thing or that thing, for meeting important people, for not missing an important date, for wearing and saying the right things. We get so uptight about even trivial things. And a lot of this pressure is self-imposed. Self-consciousness reigns.
Then we leap across into the opposite position, at least within our minds. When we’re so absorbed in the moment that we lose ourselves, and any thought for self-protection, we become more our real selves. In a flicker we’re being ‘with’ and being real. We’re being fully disposed to our world; our world is getting the fullest version of us it could get. And, of course, we feel wonderful, liberated, free to act as courageously as we’d like. There’s no pretence whatsoever.
A Vision For Life - Being Fully In The Moment
Perhaps it’s not a thing that can be maintained for any length of time. But we can enjoy more and more moments, and longer moments, where we’re at least aware of our self-consciousness and are able to courageously spring out of it.
Times of self-revelation, where information posed in reality prevails upon our thoughts, ought to inspire us to break free of our self-consciousness.
Being ‘with’ and being real is being completely ourselves in the presence of others, and fully available to them. Especially when meeting new people or in public speaking, learning to be with them and be real is crucial. In being ‘with’ and being real we’re comfortable in our own skin, ideally, in every situation. We should strive for it.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.
Graphic Credit: 20th Century Fox.