Outer Self Versus Inner Self — Writing from Africa

Tina Dias
Tina Dias
Oct 16, 2014 · 2 min read

Posted on June 15, 2014

by TinaDias

Why is it that we can spend so much of our time on our outer self? We buy clothes and regularly upgrade our wardrobes, we decorate and redecorate our homes, we plant flowers and make sure our gardens are impeccable, we wear make-up, cut and colour our hair, colour our beards and moustaches, do botox and cover up blemishes and, hide our imperfections with scarves and makeup.

A psychologist once told me that when we seek to endeavour outer projects, it usually represents a need for inner work and that once these outer projects are completed and we have become used to the changes we created, the void that existed before these make-overs returns.

What would happen if we were to spend one quarter of the time we spend on our outer self, on our inner self? Scary huh! How happy are you really today with who you are, not with what you have?

What one thing would you stop doing if you knew no one was watching?

As I work here in Africa I am learning a lot about what makes the people here in the desert happy. They are: a roof over their house (uncommon), running water in the village, (toilets don’t exist so not even a need – there is a hole in the ground in a port-o-potty type construction), building community, gatherings with family where there is ample food, music and stories to be told. Homes are made of either straw or cement and there is no electricity. If anything hangs on walls, it is usually drapes with images and paintings of people gatherings. The simplicity of their lives allows them to focus on what really matters to them and they are not influenced by what they do not know nor by what they don’t have that they don’t really need.

Have we lost touch of what happiness is by focusing on HAVING rather than on BEING. Does trying to keep up with the Jones’ force us to keep acquiring things to HAVE in hopes that we have succeeded? Does HAVING really make you happier?

I always wondered why we ask people we meet “What do you do?” and not “Who are you?”.

From Africa, I leave you with one question to answer to yourself:

Who are you?

I am ___________________

I am ___________________

I am ___________________

I am ___________________

etc…

    Tina Dias

    Written by

    Tina Dias

    Facilitator * Coach * Speaker