Do you attempt to work on yourself from the outside in? We live in a society that seems to encourage it, so if you do, give yourself a break. We are told that in order to lose weight, we have to work out constantly … but drinking, which packs on empty calories, seems to be the primary method of social interaction for pretty much … everyone. Never mind the fact that drinking also leads to unhealthy food choices. It makes far more sense to exercise in moderation, eat sensibly and healthily, and abstain from alcohol – but no one wants to hear that. That’s no fun.
This is just one example of how we try to make ourselves “better” from the outside in. It applies to personal work as well. We feel empty and unfulfilled, so we try to shift external aspects of our lives. Digging deep, facing our issues, and doing internal work feels scary and sometimes impossible, so we move to a new city or initiate a new relationship instead. Those changes provide temporary excitement, motivation, and even relief to our lives. Unfortunately, because we have not made any internal shifts, eventually that shiny new feeling fades and we are right back where we started. We might feel even worse, because our desperate attempts to create something different fell short.
I can speak to this because I’ve done it, more than once. I’ve spent a lot of time searching for answers outside of myself, only to find that none of them brought me closer to peace. I’m not saying that change isn’t good – it definitely is. Change is necessary to human development and evolution. What I’m saying is that we want to cultivate lasting change within ourselves in order to effect lasting change in external areas of life.
Searching for change outside of oneself is an act of desperation, not one of centered peace or groundedness. We don’t know what to do, so we shift a puzzle piece around and pray that it fits. Unhappy with your job? It’s always good to try new things, and see what you like – but what if you get to know yourself better first? What if you sit down with yourself and simply listen, after all the years you’ve buried and ignored your intuition in favor of what your family/friends/partner/society decided on as the best path for you? What if you learn to love and trust yourself so much that you step into your truth easily, knowing it’s the only option for a fulfilled life?
Obviously that’s a simplification. The healing journey is a lifelong undertaking, and your progress may move slowly. You might even feel like you’re falling back at times, but don’t get frustrated. This is normal. Again, I speak from experience as a person who has no patience and is easily irritated with myself! Part of my personal journey is learning to be gentle with myself and congratulate myself on the small victories. Maybe that’s you too. What’s most important is that you are on the journey at all, that you are taking the necessary steps to reconnect with the truth of who you are.
I promise you that when you make internal change, the external changes will follow. You might surprise yourself, or you may reinforce that you are already moving along the right path for you. Either way, coming from a source of internal confidence, love and self-worth makes all the difference. It enables you to handle the inevitable difficulties of life from a stable and safe foundation within yourself.
You can change – I promise. Every single one of us can change. It’s going to be okay, and so are you. Hugs. Be good to yourself today.