Seeing the best in life's challenges

Go Within or Go Without ? (that’s what it’s all about!)

on February 27, 2013

This play on words is fascinating to me!

When we say “go within” we are talking about self-reflection, deep thinking, trusting yourself, intuition, understanding yourself, all that kind of stuff.  Finding yourself, if you will.

Out is simply the opposite of In, right?

So why, when we say “go without” does this mean a lack of something, rather than merely looking outside oneself, looking externally for the answers?  Is deep reflection impossible “out”-side of oneself?  Does external focus automatically come up short?

Well, maybe these words are more meaningful than we realize.   Hmmm…..

In our world, we are used to looking for answers from others.  From experts.  From someone who has done or experienced things before.  From books and blogs and articles.  In school, we teach our kids by talking at them, by telling them “the way it is” and by asking them to repeat back what they are told.

Maybe this is why it feels like something is missing…

How can we understand the world, if we do not first understand ourselves, who we are, and how we interact with the world?

When we start to look “within,” that is when we come to understand more and more, in leaps and bounds.

Rather than being flakey or weird, internal focus on understanding who you are is an essential part of the path to happiness and wisdom, and to spiritual maturity.  This doesn’t mean you ignore what’s out there in the world, or what others have to say.  It does mean you take the time to think about and process everything on your own.

This ties into the idea that only following the rules (which are external) prevents a person from becoming wise.

In truth, the process is more circular and cyclical, not one direction more important than the other.

As a matter of fact, didn’t we all learn that the Hokey Pokey is What It’s All About????

In and Out, In and Out, Shake It All About!!!

We live in the world, and we experience everything in the world.  That external stimulus affects each one of us, and affects us internally.  We are each blessed with a physical body that thinks, feels, and knows, if we are willing to listen to it.  If we pay attention to that internal feedback, and work with it, think about it, process it, be aware of it, we can learn a lot about ourselves as individuals and grow and learn as a result.

Then, with this newfound understanding/knowledge/wisdom, we go back out in the world, are that much more aware, and then we “shake it all about” and experience some more.  Maybe we interact with others differently, based on our increased wisdom.  Next we gain more external feedback, which leads us back “within” to process yet again.  (This is not only my  thought — just google “what if the Hokey Pokey is what it’s all about” and you will see there are others thinking the same thing in their own way!)

Too many times, people fail to question the message “that’s just the way it is” or “just deal with it.”  Or people are told they “shouldn’t” react or feel the way they do.  If we ignore our reactions, feelings and thoughts because some external source told us to, or, worse yet, accept that our internal reactions are “wrong,” well, this can lead to a lot of problems.

No one is going to force us to work on the internal part, but without that part of the cycle, we won’t move forward.  We have probably all observed people we know, who seem to get themselves in the same situations, again and again, and they don’t understand why this keeps happening to them!  (And of course, we all do this at times, it’s just easier to see in the mirror!)  In these situations, people aren’t doing the work of processing their experiences internally, reflecting on their actions and reactions, and learning from the process.  So, they doom themselves to repeating the same scenarios over and over.  They get stuck going round and round at the same level indefinitely.

Hey, the Hokey Pokey is fun, but not so much if you don’t keep switching it up!!

hokey pokey pic


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