The Inner Experience
“If you cannot trust your inner experience, how can you expect others to confirm it for you?” ~ Animal Voices, by Dawn Brunke. I read this quote first with a strong “HECK YEAH!” and now that I’m re-reading it with the intention of writing about it I’m thinking a little differently.
My first, gut, (intuitive) reaction definitely comes from my inner truth. That truth, which is yours too, is about our connection to the Divine. It’s inherent. It doesn’t change no matter how silly, stubborn or mean-spirited I am. (Not that I’m ever mean spirited, this is hypothetical of course.)
If, in my finer moments I can recognize the truth of myself, why is it that I go around looking for validation in my less than stellar moments?
You, of course, don’t waste your time and energy asking your husband if your hair looks okay after you got it cut into that new, flirty ‘do. Nor do you spend excessive energy checking with your sister, mother, and BFF before you respond to that ridiculous email from your co-worker, do you?
When I second-guess myself it’s because I don’t trust myself. It’s because I’m afraid and hanging out in fear in some area of my life. The examples about hair and emails are pretty benign, but they can be indicative of a deeper pattern. The first time you had a mean kid in kindergarten make fun of what you were wearing, or how you did your hair, was likely the first big hit to you believing in your innate goodness and truth. It hit hard.
You were way too young to understand the fact that the mean-girl was really in a lot of pain and probably had a ton of people at home who were putting her down on a regular basis. Of course she had to lash out at you to make herself feel better. Knowing that NOW doesn’t change the habit of second-guessing yourself.
Between kindergarten and today you’ve had plenty of opportunities to figure out where you’re a rock star and where you don’t live up to someone else’s standards. Whether it’s a colleague at work, a professor who dumped on your writing style or a roommate who constantly reamed you for your inability to stay organized – these beliefs started to seep in and take over, keeping you in a constant state of doubt.
That is, if you’re like me.
There are areas that I feel pretty confident and there are areas where I feel like I will never fit in or “get it.” You’d think that one of the cool things about being my age is that I wouldn’t give a hoot what other people think about me. You’d be wrong. I envy the heck out of the people who tell me that they never pay attention to what anyone says about them. While I’ve gotten better at ignoring the trolls on social media, and the wildly hilarious “hate e-mail” I get every now and again, I’d be lying if I told you I never asked for someone’s opinion or cared what they thought.
So I aspire to live in allegiance to this quote. It’s a daily practice for me to show up, to tap into what I know to be true, spiritually, physically and mentally and to let those truths lead me through my day. When I’m in alignment like that, the day goes well and I believe that I make a positive impact. There is a spiritual tenet that says, and I’m paraphrasing here, “If you want to heal the world, heal yourself.” When I first heard that, I thought it was a crock. I mean, how can taking care of my pain and BS stop the wars around the world? How can focusing on ME change the devastation of man’s inhumanity to man? Honestly, I don’t consciously know. Still, my inner experience says that it’s so and it’s translated to my outer experience too.
For just this day I’m going to focus on trusting my inner experience and I hope you will too.
Written by: Peggie Arvidson