To awaken is to know yourself, and self-knowledge occurs as you begin to let go of your protective masks and start to accept the selves that for so long you have judged as unworthy and unacceptable.
All the different selves that you carry inside, the ones that you stuffed down so deep. Some of them have not been allowed to see the light of day for a very long time.
They are the unworthy or unacceptable sides of you from different stages in your life. The parts of you that you don't want 'out there' for people to judge, the parts that you don't want to discuss.
Sometimes it is a simple as something you said that you wish you hadn't. You hurt someone's feelings, you apologized, but it's still out there and not always easy to forget. Maybe something you've done that you wish you hadn't. Once something is said or done, it is 'out there'. You can't undo what is already done. No matter what it is, no matter how 'bad' you think it is, it is done. All you can do is ask for forgiveness and work on forgiving yourself. You will not be able to let go of your protective mask until you forgive yourself for whatever indiscretions you have committed.
Start the process of letting go of the protection, taking off the mask and allowing these parts of you out into the light, this is the beginning of the awakening.
The protective mask may be keeping you safe from judgement, hurt and pain from those around you, but actually, it's keeping you from YOU. You cannot be your true self while you wear a mask. Take it off and let the world see your beautiful face.