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Can You Hear Me Now?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Living From the Inside

I was watching a television program last Friday evening and there was some talk about how we live our lives…from the outside. It got me thinking.

I have seen in my own life and in the lives of others, an external focus. A focus on our outward man/woman…what I would consider largely a ‘learned’ behavior. I remember my mother teaching me from an early age how important it is to ‘look’ good; to ‘dress’ appropriately. Of course I had to learn what “good” and “appropriate” looked like and what the measure was. It’s obvious it could be interpreted 50 different ways by 50 different families.

For my family it meant, as a young woman, I was to wear makeup in public, have my hair brushed and styled, and wear clothes appropriate for the function and my age. Even in my own rebellion through various hair colors (from pink, red, white, black, even fuchsia); I felt a certain reliance on these lessons in my outward expression.

The inherent problem with this mindset, however; is the lack of originality and more importantly the lack of recognition to the inner-man/woman. I’m not suggesting we all pick and choose how we want to look/act/live at our own whimsy. I am suggesting we heed the inner man/woman when it comes to finding our significance, our purpose.

I think it’s fairly obvious the way fad and fashion change so often and randomly, that the outward focus is lacking. There are few staid and true fashions or hair styles or timeless pieces of jewelry or anything outward focused. Even a look in our homes sees the changes in colors, décor, furnishings…fairly often. I have changed the ‘look’ of my own home at least 5 times since I graduated college. Sometimes I seek expression through what is popular and I mix in a bit of what I love…and others times I seek cost-effective and reliability as the most important qualities. These constant changes are due to lack of full commitment or acceptance to what I’ve ‘expressed’.

As I shift my focus inward and seek to live my life this way, I begin to express outwardly the peace, joy, love…that dwell within me. I find the ‘content’ Jesus has placed in me as a part of my transformation. I find a certainty that as I look upward and inward, I will find my purpose, my life meaning and that will be expressed outwardly regardless to what I wear or how I appear.

The value in our lives is truly found in leaving this world a bit better than we found it upon arrival. It is not found in looking good for the ride!

Have a wonderful Tuesday and remember to live your life from the inside!

****30-faces challenge picture #1 will be added to my new blog (A Time To Draw) this evening as I cannot photograph or load my picture until I am home this evening.****


Morning Glory said...

Good words to remind us of where the real beauty lies. Thanks for the reminder.

Tami Boesiger said...

Hmmm. . .you've got me thinking this morning, Kim! I'm wondering if it is obvious to others if we are living "outwardly" or "upward and inward". How does this focus change our behavior on a normal day? Do you think an outward focus is more materialistic? an inward more spiritual? Are you saying we should be more worried about BEING good than LOOKING good? Again, hmmm.......

kpjara said...


My thinking was that we are FAR too indulged by the outer person. I know God placed something IN me that is far more worthwhile than what I appear to be on the outside.

Good thoughts and line of 'wonder'.

The show I saw a young woman (model) who had essentially killed herself through anorexia for her modeling was trying to warn her sister not to fall into the same 'rabbit hole' and just learn to live from the inside!

Shalee said...

I'd rather have someone appreciate me for who I am, not what I look like or how much money I make or what skills I possess. After all, God doesn't view any of that as important; neither should we.

When all is said and done, it's the inside us that will be called to judgement, not the outward appearance.

great2beme said...

Let's go a little deeper to the inside. Remember when we make bad choices and we know it was a moment of weakness, or worse when a spouse or loved on edoes this? What about stopping and looking at their insides and seeing that even if what they did wasn't what we wanted or what we would have done was it rooted in love? Was their heart in the right place even though it seemed to maybe even sting a little. I say this because right now I am searching for a candle to light my insides right now it is so dark in there, not because I don't have Jesus but because all I do and say is never enough or right to the one or ones I love I always fall short in the judgement area and yet I search my heart and I know I am doing it in the right spirit and my heart is rooted in love I am sorry for those times but still it seems bleak. So, I say not only look inward at ourselves and become beautiful but see the beauty in what others are trying to do too, even when it seems different then our preference.

Dawn said...

I must be committed to what my home says - or else I'm just lazy! Or no money. Goofy look at a very serious topic -- well put, as usual.

FarmgirlCyn said...

SO true. Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart! If only we spent as much time beautifying the inward man as we do the outward man. Once again, you give me food for thought.

Overwhelmed! said...


What an absolutely beautiful post! It's giving me much to think about.

Last week we were with Oronzo's family for a week-long family reunion. His parents brought boxes of pictures slides and showed all of us their family pictures spanning over the course of about 20 years.

Oh how we laughed and laughed at the clothes and hairstyles that we saw on those slides, just as I suspect our children will laugh at ours when they are older.

This post reminds me of how true it is that fashions, styles, and mainstream appearances change frequently over time but what's most important is what's inside of each of us.

My husband is an excellent example of someone who looks first within a person and focuses on their inner beauty and I love him for that.

I, too, am working at shifting my focus inward and to let God help transform me to his image.

Thanks for sharing!

Sally said...

Kim you are truly a blessing I needed to read this today!