Living from the outside in is what we all do – we are socialised to do so by the family, culture and society into which we are born.
Living outside in means living from the perspective that as humans we are the product of our family, society and culture. To some extent this is true. Our external environment influences us in many ways as we grow and develop. It seems normal to take on board the dominant norms and values that surround us and to try to live our lives guided by them.
The basic premise of living from the outside in is that the world is a dangerous place, that we are vulnerable and therefore at risk, and that we need to be on guard and defend ourselves from external threat. Living from the outside in means believing that things happen to us from ‘out there’, that building a defense will protect us and that having control over our lives, and over others will keep us safe. This seems to be a logical line of reasoning, and as the product of rational thought, it seems convincing. Many of us buy it, and live our lives accordingly.
As human beings, however, we are much more than the product of our family, society and culture, and we extend far beyond our capacity for rational thought. As human beings, we are primarily spiritual, and as such, we have an inner life that we seem to lose contact with during the process of socialisation, at least in the Western world. This doesn’t mean, however, that we are less spiritual. It just means that we aren’t necessarily aware of and in contact with our primary spiritual nature, and being unaware of it, we are unable to live by and be guided by it.
Living Inside Out is the opposite of the rational way of thinking represented by living from the outside in. Living Inside Out is living life from the inner knowing that the world is a beautiful place and that there is nothing to fear. It means knowing that you can rely on and follow your ‘inner knowing’ no matter where it may lead you, sure that wherever it may take you, you’ll be safe.
Living Inside Out means living life in alignment with what you truly know yourself to be at all times. It requires courage, because it involves letting go of all pre-conceived thoughts, beliefs and ideas about how things ‘should’ be.
While living from the outside in can easily lead to frustration, disappointment and anger when expectations about how things ‘should’ be, are not met, Living Inside Out involves living in the moment, making choices that are genuinely in line with who you are and what you want for yourself, and allowing life to unfold in its own time and its own way, whatever that may be. Living life in this way replaces fear and stress with peace, beauty and immense power. It also brings the fulfillment of one’s deepest wishes and desires.