Photo by Jen Loong
Have you ever found yourself looking for answers and getting frustrated? I know I have, especially for the first forty years of my life! I was always trying to figure things out and thought the answers were going to be in another class or if I studied with the right person. Of course, I learned a lot along the way, but I was still confused about who I was and what direction I should take.
Even though I was curious about meditation and even experimented with different forms, I didn't get that being quiet and listening to my own inner wisdom would be so beneficial. Even when I heard that "we have the answers within, if only we'll pay attention", I couldn't make sense of it -- mainly because I wasn't willing to seriously try it out. I was "interested", but not committed, yet. I thought I already "knew" so much when I didn't even know what I didn't know.
I filled my life with busyness and activity -- in fact, I was "on the run" most of the time. What I didn't realize was I was running away -- from myself, from the truth, from my inner knowing. Years later, when I finally got a little wiser, I wished I had been able to "get it together" sooner, however, everything I did and learned brought me to a better path and once I got there I was really ready as well as grateful.
The gifts from taking time to be quiet and go inside are many. Here are just a few:
peaceful relationships with yourself and others
a reduction in stressors like insomnia and anxiety
inner calm and the ability to respond to situations instead of just reacting
Photo by Matthias Zomer
It's also important to remember not to spend all your time focused on the internal. One of the best things we can do when we're feeling self-absorbed in our problems and difficulties is to look outside ourselves and offer help and support to someone else. Some of the best quotes come from the idea of taking the focus off our own perceived sh*t and reaching out to someone else:
"The purpose of life ... is to be useful ... to be compassionate, to have it
make some difference that you have lived and lived well."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don't
wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good
things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill
yourself with hope."
"Helping others is the secret sauce to a happy life."
May you both find yourself by turning inward and also lose yourself in service to others -- this is what I wish for you.