Expanding Consciousness through Self Mastery
The term mastery means "the possession of great skill or technique". When we practice self mastery we are demonstrating that we have learned the nature of ourselves so well and are sufficiently self-aware that we can accomplish whatever we choose. For many people this means the achievment of a degree of self-honesty that few aspire to. This is because self mastery doesn't mean that we no longer have weaknesses. Instead it means that we've learned to love and accept these, integrating them into our life style and have made them work for us. Of course that can't work if we are dishonest with ourselves about the fact that these weaknesses exist.
The next factor to be considered is whether we can accept the rightness of these so-called weaknesses and be able to embrace them. For example, since I was a child I've been able to thoroughly annoy others by my "know it all" attitude. Its a gift. This is something that tends to occur when I'm particularly struggling to get my point across; I'll sound very pedantic and authoritative. By accepting that this was something that is part of me and embracing it, the right action to deal with it came to me. Now, when I'm struggling to articulate an idea I wish to share, I tell people that I'm having a difficult time. Oddly enough, that increases my credibility rather than diminishes it.
Perhaps the most difficult factor in self mastery is the understanding of our strengths. This can be more awkward than the acceptance of our weaknesses. The reason for this is that many of us tend to downplay our strengths in order to avoid responsibility. If we were to admit that we were capable of far more than we show ourselves to be, wouldn't we be expected to do far more? The error in judgement with this comes from a childlike perspective of being subject to the will of others. Remember self mastery means that we are our own masters. You may indulge your strengths anytime that you want to. You are also allowed to refuse to accept any job or responsibility that you choose to. You are entitled to take responsibility for your own choices. For example, you may be an excellent parent. Your kids may shine as the epitome of the well cared for child. This doesn't mean that you have to have more children, start a daycare center or be a schoolteacher. You have a choice. Since this is your talent, you may express it in a number of ways. Perhaps you would enjoy being a talent manager for a number of artists. The same abilities would be involved.
Oftentimes self mastery includes being able to recognize when there are forces in our lives that are bigger than we are. For the metaphysician who works with their Higher Power on a regular basis, this isn't such a surprise. Frequently one may find their life altered and their footsteps placed upon a different path. This isn't the same thing as being a victim. The perspective of a victim is, "I am powerless." The perspective of the person who has mastered themself is, "I am needed elsewhere and am being presented with the opportunity of a new lesson."
As you may notice, each one of these factors I've described include a strong willingness to know oneself. None of these factors has to do with ability, but only with interest and desire. Self mastery isn't something that you have to advertise to the world. Neither do you have to live up to an arbitrary expectation placed on you by another. Instead, it is the essence of personal choice.
When we master a skill we have learned about the tools needed and what we can expect from them. We have experienced the oddities that can arise in our endeavor and found ways of dealing with them. We have confidence that whatever arises, we are good at our craft and can somehow come through in a quality fashion. Self mastery involves just such steps as these. Mastering a skill doesn't have to mean that we are perfect, just that we are experienced and capable. Once we make it into adulthood, we have achieved a degree of experience with ourselves. The fact that we've survived this long demonstrates a degree of ability. Self mastery is something that every person is capable of if they choose to be. Enjoy the process and as your consciousness expands to include a full understanding of self so will you ability to find happiness.