What lies behind us, and what lies before us are but tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”Ralph Waldo Emerson
I read this Emerson quote every day — I pinned it to the board next to my desk at work. It speaks to me because I used to worry about where my life is headed (pervasive fear for any 20-something year old). I used to think about all of the mistakes I’ve made in the past (common for everyone) but gave myself very little credit for being my own best friend. In fact, when I was engaging in this sort of negative thinking, I wasn’t really a good best friend to myself.
We’ve been our own best friends since the day we developed consciousness. We know all of our own secrets, the good and the bad. We are aware of our deepest thoughts. We know what we’ve been through and how those events shaped us. We may have a lot of control over how we portray ourselves externally, but good luck hiding from yourself.
Like many others – I see life as 3 separate entities.
- Mind – Consciousness
- Body – Physical
- Spirit – Sense of meaning and purpose (to me, this is the most complicated one – the one we don’t know much about)
I believe we put too much emphasis on the physical world and much less on the mental and spiritual sides of life. This leaves us completely unbalanced.
For example, we are highly encouraged to get an annual physical exam, even when we think we are healthy. However, there is significantly less emphasis on getting check-ups for your mental health. For many, mental health is an uncomfortable and taboo topic, when it shouldn’t be. Maybe this attitude will change as society advances.
Your inner world may be the best part of you. Think of it as a gift that no one else gets to experience, and no one has the power to take it away from you. We only lose this gift when we bring too much attention to our external world.
Here’s a song that I believe represents this message (yay 90s!):
My point is not to ignore the physical world, but to acknowledge our own power that lies within us. You’ve got the music in you!