Looking around me, the garage was a mess. My office is in the garage, and besides being my office, there is also lawn equipment, bicycles, beach things, and whatever else my lovely wife doesn’t have room for in the house.
“My office” means lots of guitars and other instruments, paints and brushes, amplifier’s, all kinds of various pieces of wood and other things for me to paint on, lots of books, papers, and various chapters from the book I’m working on, each individually clipped together.
One day several years ago I was thinking about this idea that “the outer world is a reflection of your inner world” and had a bright idea. “Then I can clean up the garage, and then that will fix me on the inside!”
It seemed to me that if my inner world was being reflected all around me, then I could manipulate it or shape it from the outside in.
But alas, thank goodness, before I started cleaning, the complication of the idea came to me and I saw that it wasn’t a great idea.
It would be like looking in a mirror and drawing a mustache on yourself in the mirror. It would be okay as long as you stood still, but the moment you moved, of course everyone would see that you don’t really have a mustache. In this case, you would only be dealing with the reflection.
And that is what we do best. We reach for things and for people who are outside of us, and insist that they “make us okay”.
We do it with material things like cars, clothes, jewelry, and houses. We do it with habits like smoking, drinking, gambling, and over eating. Then we have the audacity to try and use other people to make ourselves feel better.
I have a doctorates degree from the “School of Hard Knocks”. I have experimented with it all. My findings are that material things, habits, and other people can no doubt ease things for a time, but… when you give me a little, I need more. I don’t want more, I need more.
If you are seeking outside of yourself for things to “make you okay” on the inside, it is simply going to go downhill. You can draw anything you want to on the mirror, but as soon as you step away from the mirror, you will see that it isn’t real. You always know deep down inside that it isn’t real. This is why we pull harder, do it more, and eventually become like the guy in the movie, wondering around the cave crying, “My precious.”
You gotta do the work on the inside. This has to do with how you feel about yourself. You can plainly see your inner self all around you, and it it isn’t pleasant or what you want, then you have to find out why.
Why don’t you like yourself? What do you have against yourself? What did you do wrong?
These are the primary questions that we have to ask ourselves. Nobody likes to ask themselves these questions, but this is how it is done. Chances are that if you feel badly about yourself, your reasoning is a little off-kilter. Maybe you need somebody to tell you that you are right. You are perfect. You are exactly the way God (or the Universe) made you to be. Maybe you need someone to tell you that there is a gigantic difference between saying, “I made a mistake” and “I am a mistake”.
In the end, it is us who is responsible for us. We can blame other people, we can blame anything we want to, but the way we think, feel, and act, is up to us to do our inner work.
When we change how we feel about ourselves, the outer world will adjust accordingly and with seemingly no effort on our part. A mirror can only reflect what you put in front of it.
Oh yes, the garage….. it may not be organized and orderly today, but it is filled with all the things I love. I am a very blessed man.