How do you Stop Focusing on the 'Outer'?
Okay first things first, I’ve been a silent reader for a while. I found most of my issues were already discussed in the threads. So glad I wasn’t the only one! *Also, I adore this site, so many cool people with fascinating opinions*
I want to know how you can stop focusing on outer appearances, having to maintain an ‘image’. I am exploring my spiritual side and am practicing meditation and yoga. Lucid dreaming isn’t coming as easily to me and is taking some time, but I’m sure ill get it.
But one thing I want to change about myself is I want to stop caring about what others think, stop having to keep up an image and want to stop doing what everyone else is doing.
On a lot of introspection I think this problem came up in my childhood. Since the last I can remember, I have been (morbidly, even) obese as a child. No matter what people say, you are treated differently. I’ve lost that weight now at 22 and I’ve achieved a healthy weight and my BMI is finally in the normal standards, but I have the incessant need to finally blend in, something I couldn’t do all this while. I cant seem to appreciate my uniqueness.
Even when i was fat, I just accepted it. I wanted to be thin but I remember being happier. Now, for instance, when I look at beauty magazines like my friends do, I want that ‘perfect butt’, or more ‘slender arms’. This is just an example, but what I mean to imply is that I am concentrating more on the ‘outer’ than ever before and I want to change that. I want to mature above it all and concentrate on more productive things like self-growth, learning,etc.
Can somebody please help me with how to do that? Even someone whose been there, done that who can share how they got rid of this feeling?
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@carpediem91, There is nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy, it is a good motivation, but attractiveness is being healthy and confident. People do all kinds of unhealthy things in pursuit of this elusive perfect image and it is only elusive when there is a lack of confidence.
Your motivation should be to be healthy and if that is attained you have every reason to be confident in yourself. I see people obsessing at the gym, completely machining out in their workouts every day, perfect bodies, hard as a rock barely a gram of fat on their whole body, but it is not enough, these seem outwardly as mentally super beings but the reality is they are so weak in their opinion of themselves.
You try to be a considerate person, not only of others but of your own needs also, you eat right, most of the time, and be active, but strength is knowing you are doing your best at what you are good at, when you feel you are meeting that then you should be proud of yourself.
Strength is not concentrating on your weakness, that gets you no where, it is your weakness for a reason, to get the most out of yourself you lean on others to help in your weakness and pay them back with your strength. People say “only rely on yourself” although I get the sentiment, this is ultimately ridiculous because that way you can never be all you can, you will be missing a big chunk that you yourself have no power to fill, you can never be complete that way.
@carpediem91, To deny this part of yourself is to deny what you are seeking. Be fully as you are without wanting to get somewhere else. The more involved in the experience you are the more detached from the experience you become. which is what you are seeking of course even if you don’t realize this. It’s a paradox when talking about it so I would advise you to keep practicing meditation and beginners mind and the answer may become clear. Answers come when you stop seeking. Cheers!
@carpediem91, I think you will never get rid of that feeling, you will just have to accept it. And honestly I think it is a life long path, you have to accept it every moment, over and over again. The more you will do, the easier it will be. Speaking from my own experience, it is like that. I know that I still care about outer appearance, especially on moments when I want to impress a lady, I will not go out in my sneakers and jogging pants, without taking a shower and putting some aftershave on me. You know, it is something human, you want to appear good, healthy and strong. As long as it will not affect your life too much, do not worry so much about it.
As within, so without. Things can seem superficial when they’re really not.
Not keeping an image, is also an image one feels the need to keep.
Keep these things in mind, because the road to clarity is full of pitfalls. More pitfalls than actual road on which to walk.
1. You don’t HAVE to keep an image. It’s not automatic, you DO it. That means you CHOSE it. At every single moment, you are presented with this option, and the only way to stop it is to stop choosing that option.
Consistency is key, because the ego operates in habit, challenging a habit means resistance, but hang in there and you’ll soon feel the flow, because the ego understands that it should change.
Be patient and consistent, KEEP PUSHING.
2. Trying to fit in can only happen when you feel that you’re not good enough as you are, you don’t have what you want. If you feel good about yourself, you’ll never look for validation from other people.
So make yourself feel better. Right here and now, in every moment.
A lot of people will say “but it’s not that easy” however, these people have no idea what they’re talking about. It IS that easy. Mood is chosen, because it’s just a result of your thoughts and actions.
The instant effortless way to feeling good is having fun, making things fun, AKA self-amusement. This is very simple, very easy, and requires no tools and very little brain power. Just make things fun, amuse yourself. And fuck what other people think about that.
3. How do YOU want to look? And WHY?
Sometimes we just want to look good, not for other people but for ourselves, there’s nothing strange or wrong about that. It doesn’t mean it defines us, it doesn’t mean it’s an obsession, we just want to look good.
Because why the hell not? Really, why not?
As long as it isn’t unhealthy (physically or mentally) it’s a good thing. Because no matter how “detached” you are from the outer layers, you will still prefer some things, such as aesthetics, it’s just human nature.
I’m assuming that you’re a woman, and women tend to value looking good even more, it’s just natural. And why not? If you could have slightly better looks, or slightly worse looks, why not go for the former?
Why not the best for you?
Do you have the looks, or do the looks have you? That’s what makes all the difference.
Just don’t let it define who you are, and stop caring what other people think of you.
And it’s really just as simple as that. Stop thinking about it.
The more you think about the outer layers, the more out there you are.
But remember, the outside world is just as important as what’s inside, as below so above, as within so without. It’s all just parts of the whole.
Just do what you like, and keep it sane.
Peace and love
I was planning on starting a discussion exactly the same as yours and the answers recieved are so refreshing to see others helping, have you ever been on the blog the unbounded spirit? One of it’s archives how to let go of the need for social approval helps? But speaking to older people, it seems you’ll always care a bit of what others think
@carpediem91, is it really what other people think? or is it what you think other people think? You need to just do you, and everything you know you need/ want to do. That’s the only way to live. Recognize the difference between reality and the little stories of reality you create. We all do it, it’s just a matter of realization we kinda live a good portion in our own heads.
Like when someone does something offensive to you when they really meant no harm and you don’t bother to discuss it and instead just go on building a story around the event that just took place which is the only thing you know for certain to be reality until you dive deeper in real discussion.