Inner Worlds – Outer Worlds

Inner Worlds – Outer Worlds – 1 Mapping our Reality

Why is it often such a challenge to understand or in other words to “digest” what is happening in our outer world?

Why do we often struggle ourselves, when we are confronted with an outer reality which does not personally affect us as it might, i.e. be happening far away from the place we live, but still deeply influences us, may be even in a way that we feel a deep pain inside ourselves?

Of course, there are many possible reasons for this, compassion being one of them.

However, today let’s start with looking at a particular one which is touched within me through what is happening in the world right now. This resonance prompts me to write about perception.

We all are pretty familiar with maps of our “outer world” which show us the structures and also boundaries on our planet. And we are aware, that especially the boundaries on our planet are manmade, thereby setting a frame for our outer reality we share with each other and most people on the planet.

Now, what if there was an equivalent frame also within ourselves, a sort of inner world, our own inner reality?

The Indigenous People of our planet and their Shamans have actually been speaking of an “inner map of reality” – speaking again in their words - “since the beginning of time”.

So what? Well, this might be a very valuable key to understand, what at a first glance does not seem to be comprehensible to us.

Let me explain: It is this inner structure, which is built from all of our own experiences, beliefs, thoughts, emotions and feelings which happened in our own lives, which forms the way we perceive the outer world and then act accordingly.

It doesn’t matter how we label or imagine this structure or system for ourselves, the main point here is, that we are aware of this inner world of ourselves. I, personally, just love the image of an inner map, which helps me navigate the outer world in my own and unique way.
I, personally, just love the image of an inner map, which helps me navigate the outer world in my own and unique way.

So, this inner map determines what feels familiar or looks foreign or even alien to us and what we need to feel safe or when we feel unsafe.

This is an unconscious process and happens to us “automatically” on an either subconscious a/o unconscious level. Which makes sense, as it is simply would be impossible for us, to always and in every situation first to think about those basic, but crucial differentiations. A conscious choice at this point would not be of advantage.

On the other hand, if we want to learn new models or patterns of behavior, we have to make conscious choices to be able to reprogram unconscious mind.

In other words: whenever anything seems unfamiliar or frightening to us, we would at best ask ourselves, where this impression comes from and if it is real, i.e. relevant for the actual situation we are in right now, in the present moment. Only then it would make sense to act out accordingly, right?

And if not, we would decide to look somewhat deeper into the matter to be able to acquire a new understanding, i.e. learn and thereby expand our “reservoir” of experiences. This would then – after a sufficient number of repetitions, i.e. similar situations - be anchored in our unconscious mind as a new paradigm, a new “blueprint” for our automatic reactions.

However, at the start of our journey to realign our inner map we might not be able to reflect consciously on this at all, as our nervous system is so to speak “hardwired” for survival and brings us automatically in a fight, flight or freeze response, whenever any occurrence overwhelms us. And then may let us us run into conflicts, withdrawal, submission where we actually did not want to “give in” or even collapse.

The overwhelm being a clear sign, that our “inner map” does not yet contain sufficient concepts for understanding and tools on how to deal with such situations in a more deliberate and also harmonious manner. For ourselves and also our environment, i.e. our relationships.

We then need new experiences to expand a/o alter our repertoire, and at first we might need support from the outside, to learn how to calm down our nervous system “on the go”.
And may be our first conscious choice on our personal journey to a life of more fulfillment and less fear is to ask for such support. It does not always have to be someone professional like a coach or therapist. If we have loving and trusting relationships we might be able to help each other out, especially once one of us already is able to share their own successful experience. We might then be able to let that experience ripple out into our shared environment, our shared world.

And if we like to expand even further, more tools on how to integrate new experiences into our own inner world and finally start to co-create our shared outer world are available – if we ask for it.

What will be your first step to remap your inner world before or when you meet your next challenge?