Recently, I’ve had some great conversations with my Uber drivers. I love to ask them questions and for some reason, they open up to me and share some interesting and fairly personal stuff. One time, I asked my Uber driver what brings him joy. He replied,
Being at peace with myself, liking and knowing who I am. Everything else spirals up from there.
His answer was a lightning bolt moment. I was struck by what he said and I saw the lesson in it. If he had asked me the same question, I would have replied something simple like “my kids, mornings, and the smell of fresh cut grass.” His answer was much more meaningful, deep and true. Before we can really find joy in other things, we must first know and be comfortable with who we are. We must be able to love ourselves. This isn’t being conceited or selfish. It’s contentment that comes from being self-aware.
Soon after that conversation, I came across a related idea:
What’s happening on the outside of a person–what they say, the way they act– is a reflection of what’s happening on the inside.
Everything we do or say is impacted by our inner state. If we choose to work at it, our inner life will be a journey of continuously evolving self-discovery. It is an inner spiral that directly affects what shows up on the outside. This inner journey requires self-compassion, because we’re sure to uncover some things that are not pretty. But if we can accept and be at peace with what we discover–if we can like who we are–it will be reflected on the outside. Joy spirals out of a place of contentment, self-knowledge and self-love.