The Complementary Relationship between Awareness and Healing


by Doron Gil, Ph.D., the author of “The Self-Awareness Guide to a Successful Intimate Relationship

Awareness and healing are two complementary processes. Awareness leads us to the healing process, and the healing process guides us to a greater awareness. Until we become aware, we often don’t feel the need to heal. We handle our life on automatic pilot, live according to “social norms”, believing that we know ourselves well enough to handle our life. But as a matter of fact we don’t know ourselves well enough: we are not aware of a host of factors, such as needs, fears, unrealistic expectations, messages we internalized at young age from the home and the environment in which we grew up, our belief-system and perception of reality, which exert power over us and control our attitudes and behaviors. Any one of these factors – or a combination of some – hinders us from living our life to the fullest, and often disables us from self-realization, feeling satisfied, happy and accomplished.

But even when we walk around feeling that way about ourselves and our life, as long as we are not aware, we neither feel the need to heal, nor do we know what and how. At times we might feel that something is wrong, that something doesn’t go the way we would like it to, that something is hindering us from moving forward in our life and achieve what we would like to achieve – be it a successful intimate relationship, a better position, and so on. Even then, as long as we are not aware of what this something is, we don’t know how to embark on a healing process and change. We then resort to combating the symptoms rather than the problem.

We witness this phenomenon in all aspects of our life: if we have back pains, for example, like a large number of the population does, we might attribute it to stress, to a bad mattress or to any other factor. As long as we are not aware that our posture is the one causing the pain, we might try various approaches to release it, none of which will enable us to change our posture and heal. If we fail in our attempts to foster a satisfying relationship, we might resort to excuses and rationalizations to explain our failures. We might claim, for instance, that we are “very selective”, not being aware that the fear of commitment hinders us from staying foot in one relationship and driving us to jump from one partner to another. Or we might experience ourselves as always behaving incompliantly at our job, finding ourselves in endless conflicts with co-workers and supervisors and even being fired incessantly. As long as we don’t become aware that being incompliant is caused by our unconscious, unfinished business with our controlling mother, we won’t be able to heal our past and consciously change our present attitudes and behaviors. These will continually harm our professional relationships and place our position at a risk.

These, and similar episodes illustrate that until we become aware of our attitudes and behaviors and the factors controlling them, we will continue sabotaging ourselves, our life and our relationships. Becoming aware enables us to embark on the healing process, de-activate the power these factors exert over us and make the necessary changes leading to a fulfilling and happy life.

Becoming aware means getting to know and understand ourselves better; realizing traits, feelings, attitudes and behaviors we denied and rejected until now, refusing to acknowledge and accept them as part of us. It means becoming conscious of the factors which exert power over us and drive us to sabotage our life and relationships, by leading us to behave in ways which hinder personal-growth and self-actualization. As long as we are not aware of the power and damage these factors bring upon us, we walk around wounded, feeling incessantly frustrated, disappointed, disillusioned, angry, desperate and unhappy, without knowing what we should do in order to heal ourselves and move forward towards a more fulfilling life.

Awareness and healing are two complementary processes. Through them we get up the courage to be true to ourselves; authentic and genuine; connected to our will; acknowledge and accept traits and behaviors we might have denied and rejected within us. It is no wonder that the more we become aware and the more we heal, the more we strive to increase our awareness and to heal ourselves even further. This complementary relationship between awareness and healing is a life-long process, as we strive to expand our awareness and deepen the healing process, both of which are an integral part of our conscious existence.


Doron Gil, Ph.D., a Self-Awareness and Relationships Expert, has 30 year experience as a university teacher, workshop leader, counsellor and consultant. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is the author of “The Self-Awareness Guide to a Successful Intimate Relationship”:

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