The tension between inner and outer self is common in the modern world. Each person is tugged in many directions every day and our behaviors do not always align with our core values. Becoming aware of our inner-selves and how it balances out is what takes some thinking. It helps to consider what it looks like to find inner balance for holistic healing.
At times, it is helpful to present a different outer self to the world than we experience on the inside. Most people weigh the pros and cons of sharing our true feelings depending on what we expect in each set of circumstances. Our outer self is what we present to the world, and usually the one we try to reflect the best. Problems arise when we try habitually to do this at the expense of our true feelings. The outer self is usually concerned with material things as well as what group you belong to and coping with the demands of school, work, and home life. This external world can be demanding. This leaves little time to consider whether what is taking place outside matches the inside desire.
The inner self is about what cannot be seen: feelings, values, beliefs, thoughts, emotions, spirituality, purpose. A strong inner self means you cope well with emotions, are self-aware, and have a good sense of values and purpose. It means you remain calm and resilient in the face of adversity. When you focus on this, it helps you realize you are developing an inner strength that will carry you through many trials.
Many individuals lose connection with their inner self while struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. The substances are all-consuming and they no longer know how they feel, what their values and beliefs are, and have become disconnected from their thoughts and emotions. Reconnecting with your inner self is an important part of the recovery process.
Conflict Between Inner and Outer Self
Problems begin with the inner and outer self colliding. They are in conflict or out of balance. A conflict between these is a mismatch between what you think one thing should do but it doesn’t. The greater the conflict, the wider the difference between what the inner self believes is right and what the outer self does. The conflict ultimately causes stress that is damaging to the mind, body, and spirit. If you wonder whether you are experiencing this conflict, you might consider the following:
- List your core values. These might be things like believing in the value of honesty, integrity, friendship, and helpfulness
- Take the values and think about what is in alignment with those values
- Look at what values have little actions each day that you can do to support them. The ones where you don’t do much to help those values come to fruition are likely the ones that are in most conflict
Finding balance takes time. If you feel in conflict, consider whether you might need to make life changes to address these issues. Only you will know what changes might help align with your true inner self. While thinking about it, it may be helpful to ask some questions about what you want in life, how do you make choices you feel good about, and what your want your life values to look like. Look at the gaps in your life and ask what changes you need to make to align to your inner and outer self. This will help you start making small changes to integrate all of who you are into one person.
The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Nature is an important component of recovery and healing. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery, feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Contact us now!