Walking through my garden right now, I am in awe of the fabulously opulent, burgundy peonies that are just about at their prime. Through the open window, I hear a beautifully clear and bright bird concert that changes by the minute and is such a pleasure to listen to. Looking at the sky I squint my eyes because the sunshine is so bright it makes me smile.
What is so fabulous about all of that, you might ask? What’s so fabulous about it is the self-awareness that permits me to reflect on it. A gorilla isn’t awed by the sheer beauty of the misty rainforest it lives in. A cat isn’t amazed by the myriad smells it encounters all day long. A giraffe doesn’t smile at the bright sunshine with thankfulness. Without self-awareness I wouldn’t notice, admire, reflect, be awed, opine on the beauty, be amazed and happy and grateful for these delightful experiences. Instead, I would go through life matter-of-factly and accepting of what is, a definite notch down from awe.
Awing turns my attention away from myself, away from my small ego to the big world out there, as Christopher Bergland observes in Psychology Today.
What awes you?