Outsides Match the Insides
There are going to be times when life is so loud and you’re either going to want to barrel through it or check out. This is when your plans seem to be fumbled. It’s often loudest when you tried your best and feel like you’ve failed or when you were finally willing to be authentic and connect with someone fearlessly and they didn’t know what to do with you. This is when it feels so loud inside. This is when you start to try to figure out what to do. These are the EXACT moments that you should stop focusing on doing and focus on who you’re being.
When your outsides match your insides, it means that your desires match your values. It means that if I value connection, I am reaching for connection with someone even when it feels challenging or even hopeless. If you are a spiritual person, it means that your will has aligned with the will of God and the Universe. When your outsides match your insides, there are no shadows left, no secrets kept and no doors that are off limits.
How do you get there? How do you become the person that is transparent and loving all the way through? Simple. By telling a trusted friend, spiritual advisor, or mentor all the things you thought you would never tell. Practice being clear about who are you, and knowing that you are not the things you have done or been through, but you are the person who has been aware of all of it. Who you are is unchanging. Who you are is creation that has the capacity to experience love, compassion, bliss and peace.
In the house, I knew I was going to be slightly different than the rest of the guys. I knew that my spiritual practice might distance me from some and that my sobriety might make it difficult for people to feel comfortable around me. Those are all the doings-of-me. The being-of-me is the same “being of” Justin and Eric and Robby and Sam. The being-of-me is in seeing that we all have the potential to represent dignity, courage and open-heartedness in the form of gay men on a dating show. This is the vision I held for us all, in holding this vision not just for myself, but the other men in the house, I found it easier to demonstrate this vision—for the outsides to match the insides—because I felt supported in knowing the other’s great goodness was present, too.
Therefore, it stands to reason that we create unnecessary suffering when we have an idea of “who we need to be.” Who do you keep telling yourself you need to be? In becoming that person, you won’t end the search and suffering, you will redirect it to something else. If you believed in your twenties that you needed to be more stable and grown-up, not fall for every guy that kisses you, then you might focus yourself enough to accomplish it, however, the cycle of suffering would begin once again, maybe in your thirties, when you believe you need to be independently wealthy, finally making money from creative pursuits or attracting your soul-mate. And this will continue, as opposed to the alternative when we stop telling ourselves who we need to be and what we need to do.
Here’s the secret to contentment: You need do nothing. When you have the impulse to change yourself and circumstance tell yourself that you need do nothing. Just sit for one minute and say, “I need do nothing. I can find joy in this moment.” Suddenly, you are no longer in conflict with who you are on the outside with who you are on the inside, because you’ve allowed yourself to disown the ego-game of chase, chase, more, more, different, different. When you are not wanting something other than what you are experiencing, this is radical acceptance which breeds a level of gratitude that changes you as opposed to using fear and self-will to change conditions outside of you.
When you are consistent on the outside with what you feel on the inside and when you know this and you act in accordance with this, some people are out of your reach, some relationships are not emotionally possible, and some great loves are not an option. Sometimes you can be amazing for someone and it still not work, because sometimes the distance between where you are from where he is can be too great for you to hear each other clearly. Sometimes it requires an intermediary to help bridge the gap and usually it requires you to leave the situation in order for this to happen. Why? Because we all have the opportunity at any given moment to have our outsides match our insides; meaning we all have the opportunity to believe that the risk of hiding our true selves is more detrimental than revealing our true selves—our whole selves. When we do this, we automatically eliminate options, which is why it is scary. Integrity and authenticity are scary because they will make the decision for us, sometimes before we are ready to make decisions for ourselves. And in getting honest, we suddenly realize that in order for our lives to match our souls, we need to be real about who in our lives do not match us.
And when you are in this place, where your outsides match your insides, fear cannot touch you and suddenly you can, as Justin would say, “control the room.”