[ From DailyOM ]
It’s easy to get caught up in examining our actions instead of really deeply examining ourselves. This can be deceiving because our actions may be very spiritual—we meditate, are nice to people, take care of ourselves and others—and yet, we may not be penetrating to the issues below the surface. It’s as if we’ve washed and shined the surface of our car without taking the time to check under the hood. We may appear to be in great shape, but if we aren’t engaging in the deep, inner work of self-examination, the chances are good that we are not deeply aware of the real substance of our lives.
We live in a very appearance-oriented, externally focused world, so it makes sense that we place a lot of value on how our lives look, sometimes to the detriment of noticing how our lives really feel. When we get too caught up in what we are doing and lose track of our core, we sometimes begin to feel dissociated, as if we are not fully awake, alive, and grounded. This is a sure sign that it’s time to engage in the hard work of going deep within to rediscover the foundation of our lives. Without the substance that comes from looking at ourselves deeply, and working through the difficult things we find, our spiritual lives can start to feel hollow or shallow, as if there’s nothing at the center holding it all together.
Of course, the peace that comes with meditation and spiritual practice is an essential part of the whole picture of our development, but it serves us best in conjunction with the less settling, more chaotic work of digging around below the surface to see what needs to be healed, owned, or released. Then our actions are more than just an attempt to keep everything in control, looking pretty and nice. Fueled by the energy of a life in transformation, they become powerful expressions of courage and faith, further inspiring our own inner work and that of those around us.