Sunday, November 7, 2010

Conscience? Conscious?

A Lesson in Humility...Conscience or Conscious

     So, I'd like to point out that on my last post, I misspelled a word!  Well, truthfully, the word is spelled correctly, but it's the WRONG word. There, that was sort of painful for me to admit, but hey, it's not going to be the last time it will happen.  I'm new at this blogging thing, so bear...bare...bear...ok whatever...hang with me and be merciful.
     I tend to over-informationalize.  (yes, I just made up that word...and I'm cracking myself up!)  Anyway, I love to read and for some reason have always had this obsession with words and their meanings.  I have pages and pages from college of lists of words.   I've got to understand what I'm reading in it's full context, so if I'm unsure of the definition of a word, I can't go any further.  So, for the past hour or so, I have had the pleasure to visit my dictionary!
     In the second paragraph of my last post, I used the "conscience" when I should have used "conscious."  I may be wrong, but I'm thinking there are quite a few of us who oftentimes suffer a brain fart.  We're completely insecure, get all red, and clammy when we utter the word, "conscionnnnnn..s...s".  All the while having the wits about us to break out into a coughing spell.  Secretly, we hope that our listener didn't really understand what just happened.  We hope their minds calculated what we almost said, tried to say, but didn't say, but really, really were absolutely positively sure about whatever it was that we were talking about!
     So to all my dear, faithful friends around the globe, I share with you what I have learned today.  Today is the day that we will hold our head up high with an air of certainty and creativity to engage ourselves in a conversation in which we interject either the word "conscience" or "conscious"!!!
    CONSCIENCE, according to some of the definitions from a few different sources:  A sense of consciousness ( seeeee...the OTHER word) of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one's own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good.  (be good...for some reason that just makes me giggle) A faculty, power, or principle enjoying good acts.  Part of the superego in psychoanalysis that transmits commands and admonitions to the ego.  Moral judgement which qualifies conduct as right or wrong.  A sensitive regard for fairness or justice. Knowledge of right/wrong with the compulsion to do right.
     Being CONSCIOUS is having an awareness of your feelings, sensations, or external things.  It's knowing that something is happening or something is in existence.  An awareness of oneself as a thinking, feeling, being.  Cognizant.  Painfully aware of oneself as in self-conscious; embarrassed.  Like, I'm self-conscious when I'm trying to figure out which of these words I'm supposed to be using.
     I see my CONSCIENCE as my inner witness.  It's that little voice that says, "Self, is this right or wrong?  What is your motivation?  I'll be right here...I'm not going anywhere...not really keeping score, just looking out for you (because, in case you haven't noticed,  I've taken up residence in here and tend to drive your heart and mind), trying to keep you from harming yourself or those around you."  I like to say that it is knowing without prior knowledge.  It's our notion of right from wrong or good from bad that has always been in our possession.  It's our inner navigational system. Sometimes we cannot explain it, we just trust it.  God works in mysterious ways, and maybe this is just one of them. There is so much here for another day...but suffice it say, I think the Holy Spirit sometimes whispers in a way that guides and protects.  It empowers us with an acute sense of self-awareness that allows us to feel conviction when we've chosen to willfully turn against the guidance of our conscience.   Hence the saying, "I can't go against my conscience!"  Ugh! You know that pit in your stomach I'm talking about. This, at first, seems to cast a negative light on the situation.  Ah, but remember you can't have a shadow without the presence of light.  So in essence, this conviction is our opportunity to right the wrong!  The yucky feeling of recognizing that we have acted in opposition to where our conscience was guiding us, starts the process of a do-over, or at least a turn in the right direction.
     In a nutshell, I'm CONSCIOUSLY aware of the fact that I am a very flawed person who tends to be selfish, who doesn't always put others first, can be mean and impatient to the ones I love the most, never lives up to the expectations that I have for myself but am learning to let go of guilt and embrace mercy, who often acts against my CONSCIENCE which sends me to a place called remorse where I'm served a big o' slice of humble pie, seek forgiveness and find the cup of grace waiting to overflow...and a clear conscience to start anew.
     I like the idea of our CONSCIENCE being a gift.  We own it, but we didn't buy it or do anything to earn it.  It was given to us without our prompting or even our recognition that it's something we so desperately needed!
     It's Friday, after 5 o'clock, so cheers to being CONSCIOUSLY CONSCIENTIOUS!
  

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