This imagery is often used with clothes. When doing the laundry or ironing something.
Where these words are never used is in how we live our lives. What do I mean by this?
Our days go by with us interacting with people, things, activities, responsibilities and things we like to do. All of these things are viewed as being outside of ourselves. We secretly keep our closest thoughts and insecurities private for no one to see.
Or so we think.
We miss the fact that who we are, how we view the world, and what we think of others, privately, directly affects all of our interactions throughout the day. What we hear changes, based on what we believe to be true or what we think of the credibility of the other person.
If you don’t believe this, just think how difficult it is to listen to someone giving us feedback that we don’t like. This interaction is from the outside in and feels terrible at first, because defiantly we state that what they are saying is not true.
Our ego hides comfortably on our inside and directs many of our actions from inside out. I would rank our world view, the way we believe things should be and are, to be a close second. They are the two greatest determinants of how we ultimately express ourselves in our daily activities.
Humility, compassion, and discipline are attributes and skills that try to break the pattern of always living our lives from the inside out. Love is more difficult to group with these because there is an aspect of love that is both selfish and mistakenly viewed as being physical.
Love has a strong inside out component that takes a long time to transcend into something beyond ourselves and away from what is inside of us. Its elusiveness in overcoming its selfishness is yet another example of how strong the argument becomes that we live our lives from the inside out.
Personal change (and its difficulty) becomes easier to understand once we realize how we are almost hardwired to live our lives from the inside out.
We spend a lifetime reading self help books, biographies of people’s lives, or learning new skills trying to better understand and master the outside.
If only we could better grasp the reality that our lives are lived from the inside out. Starting inside is where our world will evolve, grow, and give us the opportunity to meaningfully engage in everything we do.
Next time you do the laundry, remember that inside out describes more of you than the clothes you are washing.