Your External World is a Reflection of Your Internal World
You set the standard for the company you keep.
In life, we are all working towards a similar goal: emotional fulfillment.
How we get there is what we all seem to be figuring out. Some think it’s through making a lot of money, pursuing a passion, or finding true love. Even if the generation before us figures it out, times change and we restart. One fact of life is that each individual is responsible for figuring out how to create their own emotional fulfillment.
Emotions are our Guides to the Truth
Emotions define the highs and lows of our life. Our “best times” are synonymous with our “happiest times,” which gives us the ability to quantitatively measure the quality of our lives at different times. We think, when did we feel the happiest? and then we remember what we were doing that made our lives so great at that time. They play such an important role in the course of our lives because they are inescapable; we are forced to feel them, regardless of how we deal. We can try to suppress, ignore, work through, or drug them away; but the feeling is there, and the feeling doesn’t lie.
Emotions are raw, honest reflections that are unavoidable. The best way to harness something so honest is to create an honest foundation for them to be based on, and go from there. There is no hiding from the Truth, there is only reflecting it.
An Honest Foundation
Humans can do this by practicing Virtue. Begin with an honest foundation, and fuel it with honest good. Practicing virtue leads to a strong moral character that cannot be manipulated by external forces into impurely intended actions. By having good character and practicing virtue, all negative emotions come from an honest place. This makes them easier to deal with because it removes extra negative feelings of blame and regret that would be caused, had they stemmed from a dishonest act.
Virtue is a human intention because it considers the greater good, so it makes sense that the way to optimize your virtuous Self is through observation of other humans. It can be overwhelming because people are so complex, but there is order to the chaos.
Just look at how other people recognize value.
The Value of Time
Recognizing value exchanges, especially in social settings, gives you all you need in order to have a vast view of others’ value assignments.
Value is measured by Time because time is our only truly non-renewable resource. “Time” is what makes up Life. Going forward, if we think of Time as synonymous with Life, then the value of time is instantly realized.
Now that we understand the value of time, it’s easier to gauge what kind of value people bring into life. With this knowledge comes an awareness of what kind of value others are able to recognize. Do the people you socialize with provide value, seek value, or are they completely neutral?
Example: You invite a friend over for dinner. You so generously host them in your home, spend money on groceries, and spend time cooking. Throughout dinner, they spend the whole time rambling. They talk about themselves, their lives, their feelings, and redirect every conversation back to themselves.
This is someone who seeks value. They don’t appreciate the value you have provided enough to want to provide any in return. They are there to indulge in the value you’ve produced, and seek even more by indulging in your listening ears.
Simply having the awareness to recognize these types of value exchanges (or lack thereof) naturally develops into a filtering process. If you can recognize the value of time, and the value that others provide, they will naturally either be or not be worth your time. You will start to see it as a parasitic relationship rather than a harmless or beneficial one.
This filtering process raises the quality of the people who surround you.
By beginning with observation and analysis, this internal clarity is ultimately reflected into your outer world in the company you keep.
Observing the Internal/External Mirror
It’s not always black and white, though. Some people provide value unintentionally. Some people are funny, and provide laughs. Sometimes, they provide a different kind of value that you have to find.
There’s someone in your social group who you find intimidating. You could decide, this person makes me feel intimidated, which is negative, which means they’re not worth my time.
This is a shallow evaluation of how much value this person offers.
Emotions, as powerful as they are, are not the end-all-be-all. Emotions are honest guides that lead you to the Truth about yourself.
When you’re not actively trying to get to know yourself in order to optimize your internal world, you might try to squander your feelings by attempting to dominate this person. (Side note: everyone can see through insecure behavior.)
In the same scenario, when you are actively trying to get to know yourself and in turn choose to perceive value that wouldn’t otherwise be there, you begin by thinking, “why do I find this person intimidating?” You will pay attention and find that maybe they stand very close to you when they talk, they hold very strong eye contact, or they use certain word choices.
This will bring the value of clarity to your internal and your external world. Your external world, because you know how to recognize intimidation. Your internal world, because now you know how to be intimidating.
Maybe after your deep analysis, you decide that moving forward, this person still isn’t worth your time; however, you created value proposition to be associated in the first (or first few) interactions, through which you learned about intimidation, both on the inside (of the intimidated) and the outside (of the intimidator).
Paying attention to your feelings (internal world) and other people’s behavior (external world) brings a level of awareness that compounds over time. Being aware of the balance between the internal and external world results in an ever-rising amount of selectivity of what is allowed in your external world, because it ends up in your internal world and then back into your external world in a cycle that has a positive feedback loop.
This is the process of how your external world is a reflection of your internal world.
You are all you need
This ever-increasing hyper-awareness of the external world reflects on the inside, with self awareness. The higher your self awareness, the better you know yourself.
When you know yourself, you don’t need any external validation because you are validated by knowing what you’re about and why you’re about it. The ability to validate one’s self is positively correlated with one’s confidence level.
High confidence in one’s self leads to self-sufficiency. It doesn’t mean you’re not open to more, such as friends and lovers, but to be at a healthy emotional baseline, all you need is yourself.
When you’re able to be emotionally fulfilled on your own, it becomes clear where your boundaries lie. At this point, you know yourself well enough to know what you are and are not willing to tolerate. Not only do you have no problem filtering out what doesn’t serve you, but you also have great clarity about what exactly it is that does and that doesn’t serve you.
So many people are so uncomfortable being alone that they’ll hang out with anyone for that emotional fulfillment that could indirectly but permanently and deeply be achieved by beginning with getting to know themselves.
This awareness is like gradually clearing fog from your glasses, except mentally. It can at times be a lonely process, but the fullness that is achieved on your own is an important baseline for all of your relationships.
To enjoy being in your own energy is like giving yourself the gift of a home. Visitors may come and go, and it is understood that nobody is obligated to stay. At the end of the day it’s your home and it is the only thing that is guaranteed to be yours forever.
You already have everything you need.
Have a blessed day.