Inner Focus

In our face-down-glued-to-our-cellphone culture, it’s very easy to feel as if we are connected to the world; we have instant access to our ‘friends’, family, world events, and cultural events of significance. I don’t have to get off of my couch to have a snapshot view of everything that’s going on on the outside world and receive the feeling of being connected to it.

However, it’s a bit of an illusion. Thousands of friends, followers, or connections through social media can’t replace the cold reality of being distant and disconnected to the life that exists around us.

Countless ‘experts’ and professional internet writers are all happy to spew their opinions on how it is we ought to be living. Each has their own view that tends to contradict that of another. From man-to-man relationship bloggers, who believe one ought to treat women as little more than a challenge/game, to those who see life as a wonderful journey that ought to be cherished, there is no shortage of opinion. Many of these I find to be somewhat disturbing and out of touch with what life really has to offer.

I believe each of us wants to feel as if we have significance in our lives; that we’re more than future worm food and somehow capable of mattering to those around us in a meaningful way.

Sitting on my balcony, I was reading a book that spoke of our outward attitudes and appearances to the outside world, which function as little more than a mask for our deep-rooted desire to find true love and significance.

When I watch Lockup, I see many people who have taken to violence and aggression as a misguided way of dealing with this desire for love and respect. When I look at my own life, I see a similar desire for respect that causes inner doubts that stem from my own desire to be loved and appreciated.

What I’m learning is that the answer to this inner need isn’t found behind the walls of my computer screen or cell phone. It’s found through the moments of reality and connection with others that is sincere and genuine.

From a passionate kiss with a loved one to a light conversation with a bartender making cheap well drinks, the opportunity to reaffirm that we matter to others is all around us. As we give, we also receive.

I faced a major fear of mine last night and decided to step onto a stage in front of a small crowd of people. From the bright lights, all you could hear was the laughter and applause from the performance. While I have some practice to do on my theatrical skills, it made a big change in me to see that the opportunity to give energy out into the world – and receive it back – is right here at my fingertips.

I’ve decided to go on a spiritual retreat in a few weeks. “Discovering your significance” is one of the themes of the event, which has changed the lives of several thousand people over the past 19 years. My counselor, who runs the event, told me it’s designed to help us discover and uncover the inner self (or in my case, the little boy I once knew) that saw life as a gift and opportunity for true significance.

Like going on stage, I’m a bit scared to undergo this journey. However, I know there is something remarkable to be found on the other side of the weekend – and that remarkable something is already within me and dying to be unleashed.

Featured Image From Deviantart

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