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Measuring by metrics "out there"

“But there is a peace that defines my days, a settledness, a groundedness. I’ve been searching for this in a million places, all outside myself, and it astounds me to realize that the groundedness is within me, and that maybe it was there all along. I’ve always trusted things outside myself, believing that my own voice couldn’t be trusted…I believed it was better to measure my life by metrics out there, instead of values deeply held in my own soul and spirit.”

- Shauna Niequist

How often do we try to get answers from “out there?” We go to others for advice, we compare to others, we frantically go from thing to thing looking for a sense of peace. Often we don’t realize that if we pause long enough, we realize the answer we are searching for presents itself within us. We don’t have to look outside for the answer, because the answer isn’t there. If we continue to go "out there" for answers, the unrest we feel inside of us will grow even stronger.

It may seem easier to get the answers from “out there.” Who has the time to pay attention to their inner voice? Our surroundings do everything they can to pull us and stretch us. We have work, family, appointments, and even social media to catch up on. But how can we mindfully choose our actions, how we commit our time, so our lives can be marked by connection and grace, rather than being fragmented and pulled from one thing to the next?

Rather than another attempt to work our way, push our way to connection and peace, the process might be more of a gentle unfolding. It’s more of an acceptance of an invitation to slow down, to see what’s most important in any given day, in any given moment. If we learn how to be present with ourselves, with our inner life that is yearning to have a word with us, we can learn to be more present and connected to those around us.

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