The next way to be well is to.....Pay attention to your internal world.
So often the cause of our discomfort is due to our relationship to relationships. We are trying to curate how others view us. We do this by trying to anticipate and adjust to what others think of us, need from us and how others see us. If we have anxieties around who we are we may start interactions with others by thinking of them first. This leads to a host of misunderstandings, disappointments and resentments. Operating from the external first, muddles our view of what is important and leaves us anxious in relation to others.
The way to settle and calm is by paying attention to what is going on internally…first. The answers can almost always be found by tuning in to your internal world. When we are people pleasing, guiltily acquiescing and operating without healthy boundaries, these are all externally focused endeavors. Whenever we are externally focused first, we will notice an internal conflict.
We will tell ourselves that it is selfish to think of our needs before others, we will tell ourselves we are being kind or helpful but tuning in internally will help identify the truth. Our bodies will get the message before our brain catches up. When you agree to something you do not want to do…where do you feel it first? Is there a sick feeling in your stomach, a catch in your throat or a does your pulse quicken? There will be a tell-tell sign that your thoughts, feelings and behaviors are not aligned. The only way to know is by moving from the internal to the external.
Our Authentic Selves
Let us discuss how it is more selfish to move from an external place than an internal one. In order to show up authentically we must prioritize ourselves. We can only do that when we understand ourselves and what we need. When we agree to things that we do not want, need or desire for the sake of others, it becomes a very selfish act. We cannot bring our full selves to the activity because we are now focused on resentment, anger, frustration and the feelings of being used or manipulated. We are completely focused on self. Checking in internally allows us to show up for others wholeheartedly, being present and authentic.
Internal to external equals authentic, honored presence. External to internal equals confused, curated, action. Being well requires some measure of immersive introspection. We honor others by showing up authentically ourselves.
All is Well
Learning to listen to your internal world does not happen overnight, more by degrees. As you unpack all of who you are not, you begin to discover who you are. There are a variety of ways to get there, choose which is right for you. You may need some guidance, seek professional help if needed.