Surface Dwelling

We often exist in the “world of the superficial” with lives that, in some ways, are shallow.  We practice surface dwelling—choosing to live a cursory life without depth, rather than reach inside and examine the core of our being.

Sometimes we live on the surface because we’re afraid to take chances.
Digging deeper requires a desire to know yourself better.
It demands that you take a risk and examine your life.
You may find that the beliefs you hold onto so tightly might be challenged.
You may have to step back and reevaluate your choices.
Not knowing what you’ll find can be very scary for a lot of us, so we play it safe.

Maybe we live on the surface because we’ve taken a chance in the past and it hasn’t paid off.
Perhaps we were hurt or abandoned or minimized.
We decide, “that didn’t work so I’m just going to go back to where I’m comfortable, where it’s familiar, where I know what to expect”.

So many of the great opportunities, awaiting us, are the ones that force us off the surface, out of our comfort zones, and into uncharted territory. 

Don’t think, “what if something bad happens?”
Think, “what if something wonderful happens?”
Throw all your energy toward living the life you want.
Imagine wonderful—say it out loud, tell someone.
Thoughts become words, words become actions, and action is needed to make change happen. 

I can’t swim and I’m afraid of drowning. In the early 1980’s in my first home, a little cape cod, we had an above ground pool in our yard. It was only 4′ deep but “going under”, in that cold water, made me very nervous. Of course that sounds crazy to most of you. I knew that I could stand up and get out of the pool anytime I wanted, but I was scared. I was also very cautious, not yet a risk-taker, not yet confident enough to go exploring.
I was “surface dwelling”—literally AND figuratively.

In my early thirties I went snorkeling. Now, for a person who’s afraid to put her head underwater in even four feet, that’s quite an accomplishment. I was with someone who was a seasoned diver and whom I trusted completely, but it took a lot of self-talk to make a choice to have that experience. I may never go snorkeling again, but what I saw that day, was amazing. It was an experience that I couldn’t have had if I didn’t get out of my comfort zone. 
That time I chose to dive beneath the surface—both literally and figuratively. 

Delve deeper,
explore who you are,
figure out what makes you feel alive.
Make a decision that you’re worth that opportunity or relationship or challenge.
Of course there’s the possibility that you might fail, but at least you’ve take a chance to move away from the superficial.

Moving out of surface dwelling involves risk for sure, but you can’t move forward without taking a step forward. You can’t create change without being open to change. You can’t make something wonderful happen if you keep thinking about all the negative things that could happen.

When we never get off the “surface” of our lives—the space we “see and behave in all the time” —we don’t tap into our unrealized potential.
Often we have attributes that never see the light of day.  We don’t take the time to nurture them because we keep them hidden away, beneath the surface. When you explore what’s under all the day-to-day stuff that goes on, you open the door to finding out who you really are. Sadly, some people never get there. They search for the “right” job, car, house, man, woman, or friend, but they never find themselves. How sad. Once you know yourself on a deep and meaningful level, the search for all else will matter less.

Rumi, the 13th century theologian and poet, said, “And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”


When will you choose to take a step off the surface?
When will you take a chance and live into your full potential?
When will you discover who you truly are?

Wishing for you a week of exploration and awareness and, of course, peace,

©2015 Peace Full Home/Intentional Living


p.s. from “The Checklist from Z to A”:
#6.  Volunteer when you have some extra time. There are so many amazing places where you can make a difference. Even an hour a month can change another person’s reality. 

One thought on “Surface Dwelling

  1. Pingback: Ubuntu, Leaves & The Source | peace full home—intentional living

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