Agreeing to be here by actively participating in your own, unique life requires that you are fully conscious, aware, and continuously noticing what is going on around you. The opposite of that is this:
Living inside your head.
What does it look like – to live inside of your head? Here are some examples:
Daydreaming while at meetings, in a classroom, at church services, etc.
Zoning out in social situations. Physically, you are in a room full of people, but you are not really there.
Creating fantasy worlds in your head that you expand upon day after day, month after month, year after year.
It’s as if you are on a going on a solitary retreat to any place, at any time, but instead of it being at an actual resort, you are creating your own little world inside your head, playing out tightly controlled scenarios that you make up.
What are the consequences of living inside your head?
Your relationships suffer. Not actively listening to and participating in conversations with friends and family can frustrate other people. Hello? Are you there? Did you hear what I said? Over time, people stop trying to connect.
You go into self-chosen isolation. This may lead to depression and self-pity, which may then lead to bitterness. All of this may cause you to erroneously believe that no one cares about you, which can then lead to more depression, self-pity, bitterness…You can, and must, break this pattern.
Time seems to stand still. It’s as if you are in a movie scene where everyone and everything around you freezes, or fades, or goes to black and white while you go into a soliloquy, but instead of speaking your thoughts aloud, they are thought out in your head. If you want to move forward in your life, time also must move forward.
You become clumsy. You drop and break things. You cut yourself while cooking. Burn your hand taking something out of the oven. Trip and fall up the steps. (I’ve done this many, many times.) All of this causes you to appear to be accident-prone, when, in reality, you are only distracted and not paying attention.
Your personal growth is stunted. You can’t learn new things and grow as a person if you are not conscious enough to be continuously taking in new information and awake enough to be taking advantage of new experiences.
You hide your light under a bushel. You are put here on earth for a purpose. There is no one else on earth who has the same collection of insights, talents, and wisdom that you have, all of which come from your own unique personality and experiences. It is important that you take part in the universal conversation in order to add value to other people’s lives and to make a difference within your sphere of influence.
It is during the difficult times in your life that you may be the most tempted to escape into your head, but it is imperative that you stay engaged and awake during these times, because these times hold the greatest potential for obtaining wisdom, character, and resilience.
If you continue to live your life in your head then, over time, perhaps after many, many years, you may wake up one day and realize that you have wasted your life. You’ve squandered all your time. You’ve wasted countless opportunities to improve your life. You didn’t value people enough or take advantage of all the opportunities that could have made your life more meaningful and brought greater joy. This is the greatest tragedy of all, in my opinion.
So, where are your living: inside of your head or outside in your life?
In my next post, I will offer ways to get out of your head. Hint: it is to get into your body, via the senses.