Living From the Inside Out
Last week I had mentioned that social heretical living involved living from the inside out. As I think about this image I only have to go as far as my laundry to get a tangible example. As I look at my inside out clothes what I see are seams and threads, off colors etc. This is not what I would want to present to the world yet without those elements there would be nothing for the outside world to see.
The time taken in each stitch and cut along with the selection of the fabric all make a difference. This is all reflected in the original designer, their staff and those who put it together. All of these inside elements contribute to what is seen and how long the garment lasts. The same is true for a life lived from the inside out.
Where does one's attention go? Is it more important to project what is acceptable to the crowd? I was recently rereading Simone Weil and her admission that in listening to the Nazis march and sing and chant there was a piece of her that wanted to join in to be a piece of this crowd. She was honest about the lure of an outside in life. Because she knew this about herself she was willing to connect with all but belong nowhere. She committed to an inside out life.
It is human nature to want to find our tribe. Connection is one of the foundations of human life yet without attention to the seams, to the why, to the source, what can be left is a hollow life. Not necessarily a bad life but one without the foundations to be a Presence. As Simone Weil discovered, life lived from the inside out is a challenging and extremely life-giving place to be. It also required support and a commitment to show up not to any particular group but to God, to each and every stitch of her life. It was not an easy life.
Does a life lived from the inside out interest you? How do you pay attention to the foundation of your life? Where in your life are you marching with others because of the draw to tribe and where are your connecting with others from a sense of something bigger? Are you willing to not belong?
If this is something you would like to explore I urge you to find what works for you to pay attention to what is on the inside. If you need help please check out the classes, gatherings or reach out to one of our spiritual directors or coaches at Pathways of Grace. Going along with the crowd sweeps one away. Living life from the inside out is intentional and needs tools to create a strong foundation.
May you find strength and courage to a Presence this week.