From Buddha to Christ to Mohammad, sages have told us that the answers we seek are within us. Whether we are seeking advice on a decision, we are to make, or grandiose questions about why we’re here, the only solutions true for us come from within ourselves.
Seeking outside ourselves will still give us answers, but they might not be the best ones for us. Our society encourages us to look elsewhere for permission, validation, satisfaction, acceptance, and love. Finding experts for those areas you are not knowledgeable about is an excellent practice. However, you still need to evaluate the answer you received to see if it’s right for you.
Learning to access the Source within allows you to find the best answer to any question and recognize it is right for you. How do you know? Because your soul only tells the truth. It provides loving solutions, as it wants the best for you. Only by going within do we find peace.
Seeking Outside Ourselves
Others may have answers. Our friends and family have opinions of how we should live our lives and may have our best interests at heart. By looking outward, we open ourselves up to negative energy.
My father wanted me to go to business school, so I did for four horrible semesters. He had good intentions- he wanted me to have a high-paying job when I graduated and thought I’d be set for life. But it wasn’t right for me, and it took me a long time to tell him I didn’t want a business degree. Because I allowed him to influence me, I spent too much time in a state of anxiety before gaining the courage to speak up for myself.
I’ve had some gut instincts that I didn’t pay attention to because I allowed friends to influence my decision instead of following what my soul was telling me. And over time, I disconnected from my inner knowing, the Source within. By ignoring these messages, my intuition faded away.
Now, don’t completely ignore everyone, but learn to hear what the right people say. Then evaluate the advice for yourself.
Cultural Bias to Outward Solutions
The self-help industry is a billion-dollar business based on the premise that you need someone else to tell you how to live and find happiness. These authors, mentors, coaches, religions all say they have the answers we’re searching for, but they can’t. What they can do is to guide us in a direction, but ultimately, we know for sure what the right answer is for us based on what our soul is saying.
We can give ourselves permission. We can validate ourselves. We can accept and love ourselves—we don’t need others to do these things for us. And when we do them for ourselves, it means more to us, anyway. The hole you think you have in your heart is because you are seeking outwardly for what you already have internally. Only you can fill the empty space in yourself.
No matter what society has said, nothing external can sustain your happiness. That’s why addiction in any form, alcohol, drugs, working, smoking, etc., doesn’t make you whole. Wholeness comes from within.
Searching for Love in all the Wrong Places
Seeking love from another is what we are taught as we grow up. This falsehood begins with what others tell us, to control our conduct when we’re children. It gets expanded by our egoic mind to new heights by having us believe that our unacceptable behavior keeps others from loving us. All this searching is our ego looking for reassurance that we’re lovable.
We all want love to be expressed the way we want to receive it. But that’s not how it works. Genuine love doesn’t recognize hierarchies or our needs. The expression of love is how genuine connections with one another occurs. Only through accepting all the love we receive, through all the ways others can give it, can we fully understand the true depth of love.
We can feel genuine love from others, despite whether we receive it the way we desire. The warmth of friends gathered in celebration. The sympathy from family when there is a loss. We accept this love because we acknowledge the connection, not the circumstances, or how they give it.
Scarcity of Love
The egoic mind likes to tell us that love is rare. That it’s hard to find, but it’s a lie of the ego. There’s a belief that there is a deficiency in the amount of love in the world. It’s why so many people feel they have an empty space that cannot be filled. If we are going through life believing that only the love of others can fill our hearts, then we feel that we are unworthy when we don’t receive what we want.
We can’t expect others to fill the voids within us and make us complete. That is not their job. It’s our responsibility, not theirs. We are responsible for responding to ourselves with the love we need to fill the holes in our life. The scarcity we face isn’t outside of us but an internal lacking of self-confidence and self-love.
Learning to Receive Love
My love language is gift-giving while my husband’s are acts of service. I spent the first few years of our marriage frustrated with the lack of gift-giving of my husband because I didn’t understand how he shows his love. He would do such thoughtful acts of service, which I acknowledge but would be disappointed when it was time to exchange gifts. Once we realized what our love languages were, our ability to offer love in the style the other received was more effortless. Now my husband is a thoughtful giver, and I do more acts of service for him.
We all want love. We also have expectations of how that looks to us. We need to release our attachment to how love is expressed to us by others. Otherwise, we don’t recognize the love being shown to us. It also unrealistically pressures those loving us to express love how we want to receive it.
How we love ourselves is more important. Expressing self-love allows us to fill any emptiness we think there is in our lives.
Wholeness Arises from Within
Until we turn inwards, the external world leaves us wanting. The connection we have to Source through our soul is the guiding light within each of us that allows us to love ourselves into wholeness. The soul already knows its complete and needs no external validation. But through our upbringing, we don’t remember who we are. We then have to spend time as adults, unlearning outdated belief systems, and reconnecting to our Spirit to unearth our authentic selves. The genuine part of our being doesn’t need external confirmations of any kind. The soul knows it’s whole.
How do we begin our journey inward? I started by searching outside myself until I could hear my inner whispers. Sages through time have led those seeking authenticity, which helps to cause that first A-ha moment within us. That epiphany is the soul giving you inner wisdom. It’s how you know you have an internal dialogue with Source. It’s also the start of soul growth and expansion.
This deep inner knowing, this reconnection to your soul, may have been catalyzed by the teaching of the sage. Still, the outside influence only awakened your own inner awareness. Our transformations only occur when they arise from within.
Learning to Trust the Inner Self
Learn the distinct voices that speak to us: programming from others, the egoic mind, and our soul. We allow our soul’s voice to drown out by the others through social media, egoic triggers from our past, or negative thoughts. These distractions keep us from tuning into our inner selves. By taking the time to become fully present, to listen and communicate with our soul, it’s easier to hear the whispers of the heart.
Become more creative and playful. By doing so, we reconnect ourselves to the innocence and playfulness of our being. It’s not about doing. It’s about being. Once we allow our creativity to flow, magic happens. It’s our bodies’ way to return to its natural state.
Create habits that help our soul grow and expand. Set intentions, schedule time on your calendar, develop rituals to help go within. Simple things like prayer, yoga, breathing exercises, affirmations, mediation, and journaling are ways to help you be aware and mindful. By continually tapping into your inner self, you learn to trust the answers that arise from within.
Walking with Others
Being with like-minded people as your journey within your soul can be enhanced by joining with others. As we begin this adventure into ourselves, having other perspectives can help clarify our walk. Books, teachings, mentors, coaches like me, can help expose you to alternative ways of seeing and take your inner work farther.
Through a loving and encouraging connection, a partnership forms so you can move to a deeper level of understanding and wisdom. There will be times where we may feel confused and want clarification. Or maybe we just want some confirmation that your process is working as it should. Over time, you’ll learn to discern for yourself those beliefs, systems, and traditions right for you.
But always remember that what truly works for you is all that is important. We are all unique individuals, and therefore we need to acknowledge that there are distinct paths for each of us.
Every human is on a spiritual path. The egoic mind deceives us in believing there is no God out there. And in that respect, it’s telling the truth, because the God we seek is within ourselves. In the book, The Course In Miracles, it says that all pain comes from the futile searching outside of us. We are relying on external sources for help and guidance rather than by tuning into ourselves.
Our culture encourages us to seek outside ourselves. This influence disempowers us to create a life of peace and love we desire. As we grow up, the ego learns that to be loved requires something from us. So, we see love as a scarce commodity and look for it in all the wrong places. We need to unlearn this harmful pattern so we can receive all the love that’s always around us.
Our journey inward opens us to the self-love that leads us to wholeness. As we move forward on this adventure into our inner being, we learn to trust the soul’s voice. When we join with other liked minded soulful people, it enhances our perception.
The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment; it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone. ~ Orison Swett Marden
As you become more conscious of the solutions within, you can stop your searching outside yourself because you are the answer you’ve been seeking.