Truth time, straight up. Do you allow others’ opinion of you to affect how you feel about yourself?
It can make you feel crazy, can’t it? And wrong.
I know how this it. I lived so much of my life watching others for clues as to how I should act, what I ought to think and how I was supposed to feel. I didn’t know how to find my own value. At the same time, I fought against doing what I was told to do!
Can you relate?
The World of Opinion
Here is what I see. The outside world is a world of opinions. Growing up you are told how you should feel and what you should think. To the degree that you live life from the outside in, the foundation of what you feel, do and say is dictated by the outside world.
Indeed, if you look to the outside world to find your answers, you will not find what you want.
If you live your life from the outside in, your willingness to conform or desire to please interrupts your ability to connect with your inner wisdom. Over time this becomes a self-defeating pattern. It becomes easier to conform than to act in alignment with what you feel is true.
Realize that you must eventually redirect your attention to the source of wisdom that lives inside of you.
Consider where is your attention focused: Do you question how others feel towards you? Do you watch how you act and then check the way that others respond to you?
Consider your intimate relationships: What do you consider your most important relationship? Do you place others wishes ahead of what is vital to you? Do you determine your actions based on expectations of how others will respond?
The outside world is a mirror, reflecting your intentions, your beliefs and your attitudes. Is there disharmony in your environment? Is the interruption to the flow outside or within?
The directionality of your perspective takes you either to judgment or to truth. Looking from outside in, you see judgment. The truth is unavailable.
In fact, you are stronger within yourself than you realize. You know what is true within you. Usually, though, confusion comes because you don’t trust in your inner knowing.
When you begin to interact with your environment from the inside out, you build a sense of trust in your inner resources.
This is the key to the treasure chest within you. Over time you have a greater awareness of clarity. The experience of trust deepens with your inner clarity to discern the truth about the outside world. You trust yourself to navigate through life according to your own inner map.
This is the place of being the witness, where you connect with the bigger picture of your own life.
The Inner Journey Changes Everything
You must make the inner journey for true change to occur. Your perspective changes. Your own experience becomes your guide to living life.
Even more importantly, your most important relationship becomes the one you have with yourself. How can any relationship flow if the one you have with you is out of order?
Take a deep breath. This breath contains the enlivening force that ignites the spark of your life force within you. It awakens the process of living in concert with the Universe inside and out. Your impact on the world is rooted into the core of your life force.
The essence of who you are is coded into your life force.
It’s time to live inside-out. This is the Art of Living.
Time for Reflection
Take another breath. Release it. Take another. Devote some dedicated time of concentration/meditation. It doesn’t need to be hours of quiet, perhaps only 15 minutes. Then allow the question to simmer within you. Let responses bubble up into your awareness. Notice new ways of thinking, of images or ideas that arise spontaneously. Pay attention to your dreams. Let it happen. Be aware. See where it leads you next. Let yourself savor this process of receiving from yourself. Don’t judge whatever comes up, just receive it. Make notes.
You may want to share something from this process. Sharing is an important way to anchor an insight in your body. It leads to deeper insight. It stimulates action.
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There’s a kind of anarchist spider that lives in our house; it builds webs that are all over the place – nothing in the way of neat organisation, just filling corners with strands this way and that. When it produces offspring I love them for their random behaviour and their seeming ability to exist on nothing as they grow to maturity.
My wife regards them all as the enemy: their webs need to be hoovered up & she has no regard for their continuing existence. I have learned in silence to ‘know [absolutely] what is true within’ me. I interact with what’s out there ‘from the inside out’ with great clarity. Her view and mine are as they are.
The spiders must take their chance; they always seem to make their return. They are an expression of my own spirit.
I continue to celebrate your clarity, Colin. And your ever-returning spirit.
This kind of time does make me think of the now and the future. The past is gone. Things will be different and changes will be rapid and confusing. I will be aware of and still searching for the good in what is happening.
Yes indeed, Roy. Keep an open heart.