My granddaughter owns a book titled “Outside-In”. It sits on a shelf in my house now because she’s moved on to “more grown up” books. I came across it this morning and it made me think about the inside/outside voices— and faces— we have depending on where we are or who we’re with.
Most of us don’t take the time to examine ourselves from the outside in, or to think about ourselves from the inside out. We often don’t even acknowledge the parts of ourselves that are sitting behind the curtain while we play out the different scenes in our lives.
When my daughters were young, I’d talk to them about the difference between an “inside voice” and “outside voice”, but that had to do with volume—how loud they could be inside, as opposed to outside running around the yard or playing a game.
As adults, there are different “voices” we use depending on the situation we’re in.
There’s the voice you use in your line of work. Depending on the environment (and your role) that can be anything from strong and in-control to near silent and submissive.
There’s the voice you use when you talk to someone you care about, or who cares about you.
There’s the voice you use when you’re angry or being confrontational.
There’s the voice you use when you’re hurt, sad, scared or weak.
There’s the voice that wants to be heard but is silent.
Then there’s the inner voice we hear if we’re willing to listen. This is the still part of us (call it spirit or intuition or stream of consciousness) that we often simply try to “turn off” so that we don’t have to deal with what we don’t want to hear.
As adults, the voices we adopt become patterns. We simply forget there are other ways to share information and feelings at home, in our place of business, where we spend time in community, or with our families and friends.
In addition to the way we communicate verbally, there’s an “inside face” and “outside face” too.
Appearances can be deceiving can’t they? Have you ever been having a really challenging day (week, month, year) where the last thing you want to do is put on your “game face” and interact with people, but you still do it? To the observer you probably appear as if you’re perfectly fine, while inside there’s a storm brewing.
What happens when people simply “play the role” they believe they’ve been assigned to?
So many couples constantly fight (or suffer in stony silence) at home, but to the outside world, appear to be “the perfect couple”!
There are children who are verbally “beat up” by their parents every day, but when they’re in public, the charade of loving family is played out.
Others won’t be honest with a friend about how they really feel, for fear of changing the relationship’s dynamics, so they stay quiet, wearing the “my life is amazing face”, pretending everything’s perfect.
We get so caught up in playing the roles we think the world expects of us—wearing our outside faces—that we lose sight of who we are at our core.
Are you a spectator in your home and life or are you a participant?
Do you use your voice?
Do the people you live with, or who you consider friends truly know you?
Can you be yourself?
Do you know who “yourself” is?
Try to determine which of your voices and appearances, best resonate with your spirit.
If we live our lives like different characters,—depending on the performance we’re in—but never get to the part where we’re truly being ourselves, we miss out on a lot.
When I think about a home that’s full of peace, one component is inhabitants who are able to be themselves. If we can get to a place where our inside faces and outside faces, and our inside voices and outside voices, resonate with each other, we’re taking a huge step to a peaceful us which, as you know, leads to a peaceful home.
©2014 peace full home™
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