The Way Out Is to Go In

2024-03 - LiveWell_600x

We have all experienced going outside of ourselves to find answers that give us pleasure, relief, knowledge, entertainment and freedom from simply being, or from what binds or suppresses us. There are unlimited distractions available to help us do this. We like instant gratification to satisfy a craving, a yearning or an emptiness. Rarely do we just sit with our perceived needs and embrace the awkward, the uncomfortable, or the loneliness that accompanies our unmet longings.

In the Bible story about the Samaritan woman by the well of water, found in John 4, Jesus asked her for a cup of water and she discovered that he was the Messiah. He promised she would never thirst if she drank of the cup he gave, which would provide a well of (living) water “springing up into everlasting life.”

“When the student is ready, the master will appear.” — Tao Te Ching

I heard a beautiful analogy to accompany this Bible story. In order to have a wellspring of water, you have to drill down into the earth. Once the hole is dug, you don’t go to the river or ocean and bring back buckets of water to fill it up. You drill until you find the water that flows up within the well. Thus it is with us. Instead of searching far and wide for something or someone to give us more satisfaction, we need to instead look inside ourselves. Dig down deep. Be still. Quiet. Patient. The answer is there. When we are so busy turning to every outside source for answers or to “fill our tank,” we can’t see or hear the messages from within.

You already have all the answers you’re looking for inside of you. Log out from the busyness. Take a deep breath. Give yourself some time in silence, and ask your inner wisdom for guidance and direction. You already have everything you need to be successful, to feel loved, needed, wanted or whatever else is important to you.

We also spend a lot of time ignoring or running away from problems or situations we are faced with. We aren’t confident in our ability to problem-solve or to come to terms with life events that have gotten us off track. The only way out is to go in. Stop spinning your wheels, running around trying to pretend there isn’t a problem or that it will surely go away if you just ignore it. Go into the eye of the storm and dismantle it. Ignorance is not bliss. It perpetuates the lack we feel. Don’t lean on the side of ignorance, hiding, running away or procrastinating to avoid a problem. Go in! Find out what’s there. Dig deep. The opposite of ignorance is knowing or knowledge. Knowledge is power. It brings information that helps you make better decisions. It unlocks fear of the unknown and allows you to move forward or at least sit in peace. No more guessing.

“Look inside yourself for the answers—you’re the only one who knows what’s best for you. Everybody else is only guessing.” — Charles de Lint

I love the analogy, also from the Bible, about “going in” to the closet to pray. This means isolating yourself from the noise, diversions and interruptions in order to get clear—being alone with your thoughts, and allowing a higher spirit (your inner wisdom, intuition or divine source) to show you the way out.

Finding a way out can be as simple as allowing yourself to go into an experience or adventure as well. If you don’t go to the class, show, party, event or OUTing, you’ll never know what’s inside. You can’t go out if you never go in. When you do go in, you will always discover something. You may meet someone who becomes a lifelong friend, or someone who can help you with a need you have. You may also discover that you really don’t like certain things, in which case you can save yourself some time the next go-round by not going. Either way, you can’t find the way out if you never go in.

“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible.’” — Audrey Hepburn

Photo, top, courtesy of Brett Jordan/Pexels