Taking a Personal Interest in Yourself

I wonder whether you have ever considered how much time and attention you give to your job, family, errands, bills, household chores, television, internet, friends, etc. If you are like many persons I meet, you live a very busy life which leaves little time for anything else.

Yet how much time do you take to be with yourself – the source of all that you are? Amid your busyness, have you even thought to be interested in yourself? Or do you take yourself for granted, like a machine to which you only give attention when it malfunctions – like a heart attack?

This culture’s outward focus upon doing, doing, doing marginalizes the inner life, leaving the subjective life abandoned in a ghetto of inattention. Far too often, persons relate to themselves as objects. For example, although you feel ill, you ignore your need for healing rest, because there are pressing things which need to be done. Now! The lack of a genuine personal interest in yourself easily follows from busyness and objectification.

The tendency to be disinterested in yourself is true especially, if you grew up in a family where your parents took no active personal interest in you, your moods, emotions, interests and goals. They were uninterested in you and your inner life, and so you were taught by example to not be personally interested in yourself.

Nevertheless, if you are to be authentic – to be true to yourself, then you need be attuned to yourself. If you are to be attuned to yourself, then you need be personally interested in who and how you are. How else will you come to know your unique nature? So let’s take a closer look at what taking a personal interest in ourselves might look like.

Taking a personal interest in yourself expresses as a heartfelt contactfulness with and responsiveness to your inner experience. Just as a child you might have wanted to be seen and heard, so you take time now to see and hear yourself. You stop your outward doing, turn attention inwards, and take time to be with your inner experience as it is in the moment. What’s here, now in your experience?

Active thinking isn’t needed, for this is more a matter of “listening” or receptively feeling into your experience. Whatever the experience you make contact with, don’t manipulate or change it. Instead simply be with or get to know your inner experience as it is.

Perhaps insights or thoughts which illumine may spontaneously arise about a life situation that you’re allowing yourself to feel into. Maybe you will discover that you have been inwardly preoccupied with some issue as you went about your outer life. There could be a feeling there, pleasant or unpleasant, to which your busyness had made you numb. You may find an ache or pain in your body now that you’re taking time to notice. There’s a whole inner world there, your world to explore.

Outer activity certainly has a place in life, but so too does your inner life. Of all the tasks you will ever accomplish, none will be more precious than the innate value of your own person. Evade the cultural tendency to dehumanize the person. Make a place for yourself in your life. Turn inwards. Get to know yourself – take a personal interest the unique expression of being that you are.

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