The Outside World Reflects the Inside World

My very talented friend Krista Kahl hand-painted a shirt for me with the Pegasus constellation on it. I love this shirt. It’s the most interesting and unique thing I own and every time I wear it, I want people to compliment it. I have worn this shirt many times in numerous settings, always hoping someone will say, “I like your shirt” or even just “Cool shirt.” But they don’t.

As I wore this shirt the other day, I thought about what a former therapist told me: “The outside world reflects the inside world.” More specifically, “You don’t receive anything you aren’t already giving to yourself.” I don’t fully agree with him but I’ve found the premise to be true for the most part. So. Remembering that principle, I looked in the mirror and said, “I love your shirt, Rebekah! It’s so cool and unique!” Literally 30 minutes later at the chiropractor’s office, someone FINALLY said, “I like your shirt.” Ha! You can’t make this stuff up.

pegasus shirt

The shirt in question.

Why does this sort of thing happen? According to the spiritual philosophy I align with, everything is a thought projection of Cosmic Consciousness. That means nothing is external and everything is internal. It then follows how and why the same is true for the individual – that my internal world gets reflected externally. It’s why the law of attraction works (to a degree). This principle also aligns with cognitive bias.

Cognitive bias helps us make sense of the world and reach decisions with relative speed but a bias also means we discard information that doesn’t prop up our view of reality or a person. It’s why if I think the world is filled with liars and cheats, all I’ll see are liars and cheats. And if I think the world is filled with good people, I’ll see evidence of good people wherever I go. The outside world reflects the inside world but I frequently focus on the outside world instead.

While wearing my Pegasus shirt, I could ask, “What’s wrong with people? Why don’t they like this shirt? I could get what I wanted if only other people changed!” But I’m realizing, again, that when my own emotional cup is filled, it matters less what other people do and say because I’m already fulfilling my needs. To a point, anyway.

Human beings are not meant to fulfill all their own needs. We can’t live like hermits and become completely self-reliant because that’s not how we’re built, but how much are we ignoring the self in favor of the other? A quote that’s related to this comes from my spiritual teacher who says, “One who looks for Shiva in the external world, ignoring the Shiva of the internal world, is like one who throws away the rice that is in one’s hand and wanders from door to door in search of one’s livelihood.”

I’ve been known to do that – throw away the rice in my hand while I wander from door to door. I want someone else to offer me love, comfort, support, attention, and care and forget there’s already someone here who’s ready and willing to do that: me. And when I offer myself love, comfort, support, attention, and care, frequently someone in the outside world shows up to do that as well. Because the outside world reflects the inside world.

I dream of a world where we recognize sometimes we have to give ourselves what we seek from others. A world where we don’t discount the power we have to fulfill our own needs. A world where we remember when we do that, often people will show up to meet those needs. A world where we understand the outside world reflects the inside world.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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