Are you showing exactly who you think you are, to the world..?
Each one of us is living two realities in parallel. One that meets people’s eyes and the other that can meet only our own eyes. In first one, we are constantly evaluating our lives from society’s perception and in second, we experience ourselves constantly from the perception of our inner world. Residual of both these realities act as a trigger for the composition & expression of each however mostly remain independent of the other. It’s essential for the inner & outer realities to be in sync to lead a contented life. Let’s go through few simple ways in which we can understand and bridge our dual realities if there is a gap.
Components of outer reality...!!
Our outer reality is one that we express to the world through different roles we play. In this reality we have 3 circles. Outermost circle is the connection between us & the world through our profession. Second one is the comfort level, activities & interaction pattern we share with friends and the inner most circle is the way we express ourselves within the family. These 3 circles are independent of each other.We tend to understand and show various parts of us, through these roles. One could be a heartthrob with billions of fans, a scientist with in depth understanding of an area or a little known professional in his/her third circle; for second circle, he/she would remain an easy to approach individual & for the first circle, mainly a husband/wife, father/mother, sister/brother or son/daughter with his/her own flaws & strengths. All these circles are playing an active role in shaping our inner reality however these circles can see only traces of inner reality which we care to see, accept & show through different roles. Money, Comfort, Name & Fame, Power etc. operate mainly as a part of outer reality and need not be linked in same way to the inner reality of the person.
Building blocks of inner reality
Our inner world is as rich and diverse as our outer world. It constitutes primarily our body, vital functions, thoughts & emotions. Just like the components of our outer reality, inner reality is relational meaning all these units are interconnected and act as building blocks for other units such as perceptions, ideas, needs, beliefs & actions. For example, a sudden thought about pending work might induce a fear which is felt in the belly and vice versa. Though inner reality is a constant voice in us, we rarely pay attention to it because there is a layer of habits, fear of change & lack of trust which is blocking the continuous expression of inner reality. There are 6 simple steps which can aid us in bridging the inner reality with the outer.
1. Being in touch with the voice of the body
Our body is a complex architecture with billions of cells coming together to function as various organs which perform seamlessly together to make the whole, as we are experiencing it. There are lot many things happening within us irrespective of our awareness. Our body communicates with us through different instincts. We can easily notice hunger, thirst, sexual instincts & cessation of these primitive instincts. Body has many other ways to show us the acceptance or non-acceptance for anything that we consume (as food or through senses). It’s important to be in tune with the bodily instincts. Every imbalance is expressed, if we just care to pay attention and interpret the cause to address the same. Body is a miracle, not to be treated recklessly as a dumping bag but with love, caring & attention so that we may be in tune with all it’s communications. If we just go with the voice of senses & the outer reality and use the body to alter the same, we might end up losing connection with voice of the body..!
2. Paying attention to your Self-talk
Thoughts are the most important communicators of the inner reality. Every aspect of outer reality is complimented by the activation of a thought unit or vice versa. Self-talk is something you say to yourself. It could be automatic or intentional & negative or positive. If you want to be in touch with your inner reality, it’s essential to pay attention to everything that you are saying to yourself. There might be lot of self-talk which is neither attended to nor validated and just taken for granted. Our inner reality cannot be understood without understanding the self-talk and addressing the concerns expressed through this important medium.
3. Tracking Emotions closely
Emotions hold a key to the inner reality. Same incident might trigger different emotions in different people holding a mirror to the way they have been interpreting situations.Emotions are also experienced as a tension in different parts of the body. Every emotion that one experiences can be labelled and analysed for the sort of situations which would have triggered it. This process would help in checking the way in which interpretation of outer reality is altering the inner one. Once there is an awareness and thorough understanding of the sort of situations which trigger a particular emotion, one can learn to address the emotions effectively.
4. Observing the inner & outer world keenly for the gap
When we act in the outer world, it’s important to have a clarity about our motivation for the action. It is primordial to check if the outer reality is the reflection of the inner reality or if it’s something which is being practised habitually. If one does not pay attention and address it, habit stays for whole life hence enhancing the gap between realities. There also might be certain fear or helplessness which creates the gap between what we want & what we do. However most of the fears happen to be learned or over sustained and can be addressed by taking a closer look.
5. Creating weekly/monthly objectives to express your inner reality
If first 4 steps are followed every day, we already can think of small steps to be taken to bridge realities. A clear focus is essential in this process. It works to bring in one small change every week or month by planning it in the beginning of the week/month and reaffirming the steps to be followed every day, may be 3-4 times in a day to ensure that we are following what is planned consciously & consistently.
6. Daily evaluation of the change
Once the change is planned and acted on, it is important to observe the way it affects our inner as well as outer worlds. We need to pay attention to the thoughts and emotions triggered by the same and also the reaction of our 3 circles to the change. Observation & the reflection on the observation which is done in a set time of the day gives a clear feedback and action plan to continue the bridging process further.
Is our Life about Outer or Inner Reality?
Outer and inner realities affect each other. Inner reality stays with us all the time irrespective of outward expression. People might judge us based on our outer reality however there is a self-judge who knows both. If we depend mainly on people to judge us, we let them control our happiness and also make home for multiple insecurities within us, out of perceived or real fear of being put down. It’s essential to express the inner reality to keep the self-judge content.
Outer reality is something which is dynamic, temporary and mostly out of our control however inner reality is something which can be expressed & mastered. If you try hard and build a beautiful house of sand on sea shore, it will be destroyed with the next wave. Build it anyways, if that is what you truly want because satisfaction is what you would have gained here though the house neither needs to be built nor can stay built.