Inward vs. Outward

So, for a little over a year now, I’ve been dealing with a thing that has me feeling pretty dark about certain areas of my life. Initially, I thought I was dealing fairly well and that time would be all that it took to get past it.

A few months ago, I resolved that time would not be the only solution, so I elected to partake in a benefit offered by my employer to seek professional help. Specific to the professional I sought help from, I wasn’t that impressed. She was nice and listened well, but I question some of the advice she gave. As it turned out, however, it wasn’t her advice that I found most helpful in this exercise. It was simply the ability to vent to someone who was not family or a close friend. She gave me a few suggestions which I took with a grain of salt, but they led me to some other means of dealing with my issue.

As such, I began journaling. Nothing heavy and I didn’t start a diary or anything, but it was more a means or organizing my thoughts, to-dos, etc… basically, a brain dump onto paper. In doing do, my mind cleared a little and allowed me some “room” to think about other things I hadn’t thought of in a while or things that were completely new.

Some of these things were rekindling an old desire to do calligraphy. A new thing is grilling. Along with these things to do that occupy my mind, I also discovered, through a series of unrelated thoughts, that I had a deeper appreciation for things I had always liked, but things in which I had never really invested myself… music, movies, a good story, cute animals… simple things.

More to the point of this post, and through another series of unrelated thoughts, it brought me to consider inward vs. outward. I tend to look for patterns or, in this case, tendencies in things… all things. I will look at the same thing over and over again and usually, find some sort of pattern or tendency. My take on it is that its just the natural order of things, in general. The design of God.

The tendency I discovered was that I, as of late, had become more moved by these things of old that I had rediscovered… especially music and movies. Things that had not previously moved me emotionally, were now bringing a tear or eliciting some sort of stronger-than-normal emotional response. Maybe, I’m just getting older… or wiser… softer. Who knows? What I do know is that I appreciate things, in general, now more than I used to. In hindsight, I realize… and I’ve told this to people… that I just didn’t “get it” when I was younger. I believe that more every day. Back to the point… I realized that, lately, I am getting more emotional pleasure out of life by looking outwardly versus inwardly. At 45 years old, more songs give me goose bumps. More movies or videos bring a tear. Sunrises and sunsets are more relaxing. The touch of my wife is warmer. Whiskey tastes a little smoother. 🙂 I have found that by looking outward and appreciating those things in the World I had never appreciated before or for a long time, it made me feel better on the inside.

Finally the point… When I was first looking inward, I wasn’t finding much to be happy about. But, by appreciating the World God has provided us and really taking in the wonders He created, inward peace and love for myself became a happy by-product. Its a process, but I think I’m doing better.