A what? A navel gazer. Someone who’s always looking in at themselves and making their world small, only looking at their own wants and needs. We’ve all been there, and it can be easy to slip into a state of navel gazing, spiraling into ourselves and loosing sight of the bigger picture and the world around us, but when we do that we magnify our problems into objects bigger than their value and worth, and things can quickly become overwhelming and too daunting to tackle. When we spend too much time looking in and not out, we forget that we forget or ignore the world around us, we need to participate and be a part of the larger community, to help and make things better where we can, and in doing so, we take that focus off ourselves, our issues, our problems, and they don’t seem so big anymore, and, in performing acts of selflessness we may just find the answer to some of the problems that have been dogging us.
It can be easy to get lost, things move pretty fast in the world these days and when life feels like it’s going a million miles an hour it can feel safer to pull back, retreat and focus within, and it can be a good thing to pull back and take stock of what your priorities are and what you need to live a healthy and productive life, but, the key to that is life, it’s hooking back in and contributing to your life and those around you. When we focus too much on ourselves we tend to make our problems bigger in our minds, we magnify them, and if we’re isolating ourselves and only looking in we can easily slide down into anxiety, panic, and paralyzing fear, but when we connect with what we believe in, maybe something or someone who inspires us, a cause, an effort, a group, a lifelong goal, we become part of a larger world, and a world that will give us the answers and solutions we’re looking for. Many times the answers come to us when we’re not looking for them, when we’re focused on something else, with someone else, and boom, there it is, the solution you hadn’t thought of, hadn’t come up with in all of your navel gazing. We are not meant to live life alone, we are meant to connect with others, communicate, contribute and participate in life, which can be a difficult task when we feel weighed down with our own stuff, but that’s exactly the time you should participate, you should step out, you should get your focus off of you and look out, because it’s exactly those times that a breakthrough is bound to happen. It goes back to contrary action, if we do the opposite of what we think we should do, or want to do, if we want to retreat, hide, get quiet, when we should be stepping out and jumping into life, those problems, those issues that have been weighing on our mind will still be there if we do, but they might seem lighter, or more manageable when er place our attention elsewhere, when we don’t give them so much weight and look for opportunities to try to make things better for others around us, whether in our own communities or in the world, do something to give back, there are always those less-fortunate than ourselves, and the best way to get our of our own inner spiral is to reach out to someone else who may be in theirs.
We are citizens of the world, we have an opportunity to make a difference and there are many ways to do it, so find your cause, your group, your passion and when you feel like hiding, like not showing up for life, like your problems are crashing down around you, reach out, make a difference, give back, make someone else’s day brighter and in turn, you just might find some extra light in yours. Keep your head up and your eyes focused out when you want to focus in, let your light shine bright, and when you feel like it’s gotten dim, shine what you have and know that’s enough to light the way for someone else who is standing on their path alone in the darkness, remind yourself of what you are grateful for, of what you are thankful for, and use that to fuel your light, to bring yourself back into perspective, and to stop only looking in when the answers are all around you.
SLAY OF THE DAY: Are you a navel gazer? Do you get stuck only seeing your own perspective and problems? What happens when you do? How does it make you feel? What can you do to stop from doing this? Make a list of things you can actively do to look outside of yourself to gain some perspective during those times. Do you see how, when we only look in, that we can lose perspective and magnify our problems, giving them more weight than they deserve? How can you make changes to stop from doing this? One way I find works for me is to give back, can you think of times you did something for someone else and that act put your own life or issues into perspective? List them. If not, try SLAYER, next time your find yourself navel gazing, look for a way to reach out to someone else, to give back, and do something nice for someone else who may need it, or appreciate your gesture, make a note of how that may have changed your perspective after you’ve done it. SLAY on. There’s much more to life than just ourselves.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you