Tuesday, February 23, 2016
________________________ AN INTERIOR LIFE _________________________
Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, M.Ed., is a psychotherapist based in Sarasota, FL, USA. This is her definition which I find interesting.
"Having a rich “interior life” may be key to finding meaning and happiness in our existence and undoubtedly promotes emotional health.
What does it mean to have a rich interior life? People who have one reflect on themselves and their place in the world with curiosity, not judgment. They engage with ideas and wonder a great deal. They spend time musing and mulling over, which is not the same as ruminating about the past or being anxious about the future. They have no stake in this process except intellectually enlightening their horizons and broadening their understanding of the world. Their inner life excites them and is a resource.
People with rich interior lives generally enjoy their own company because it brings them happiness. Spending time in their minds is a pleasurable, not a scary, activity. They enjoy going wherever their thoughts and ideas lead them—to music, art, history, current events, literature, science, or sports — and find satisfaction in the pursuit of possibility. They yearn to know and learn, not to be right, and their thinking has depth and breadth. They don’t worry much about what others think of them. They enjoy social activities and engaging in external pleasures, and their joy comes from within as well as without.
Having a rich inner life means not constantly being busy doing. Our inner lives may be compromised if we are always doing something and/or being with other people – rather than spending time alone. How do you find out who you are and what you think if you don’t spend reflective time with yourself? How do you grow to love yourself if you barely know yourself? Without a rich interior life, people seek comfort in externals—food, people, activity, etc.—and become dependent on them to stimulate (and simulate) pleasure."
The Churches definition of the Interior Life goes something like this:
"The Interior life is a life which seeks God in everything, a life of prayer and the practice of living in the presence of God. It connotes intimate, friendly conversation with Him, and a determined focus on internal prayer versus external actions, while these latter are transformed into means of prayer."
I wonder whether if we all had an interior life according to Karen R Koenigs definition the "Externalising" of our "Interiorising" would mean that God would not become something 'Up There' or 'Out There' or even 'In There', rather God would be right here in front of us in the unique "being - ness" of another creature - ANY creature, and the cosmos that cradles us all.