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Internal and External – Psy-Philosophy

Internal and External

Energy and thought are inside us, as well as all around us. If you will, Imagine your body, now take your body and give it an outline. This outline is how every person physically sees you and it’s the same for how you see every person. Through time spent with people, you can start to understand what’s inside every person and see their own internal world. You start to view their thoughts and their way of being, beginning to comprehend them mentally. When you see a person, you see them through an external lens. What you are seeing is the external world outside of your personal internal.

The internal and external are two separate worlds that share a symbiotic relationship. One cannot exist without the other. These worlds are not visible to the naked eye but today I will attempt to explain to you a way to see them.

In the external world there is so much that is out of our control. For instance, you see two strangers fighting each other and some very harsh words are being exchanged. These two people are beyond your threshold of control and there is not much you can do to change the situation. Sure, you could try your best to come between them and attempt to resolve the situation but there is no guarantee that you would be able to change it.

When viewing the external world this way it might often seem frightening and depreciating. A vast world outside ourselves where almost all of it is beyond our control.  We see this everywhere with a global pandemic, global warming, and an unsettling amount of chaos in this world. One can only wish that it was more within our ability as individuals to change these circumstances we live with. It’s a difficult situation we find ourselves in, but hope is not lost yet. I’m sure you’ve heard it before. One person can make a difference, but it starts inside.

Our Internal

The internal is your emotion, thought, intuition, and reaction. Every day we have an innumerable amount of thoughts that go through our head. Too many to keep track of sometimes. If one is to grasp an idea of your internal self, it is important to think about these thoughts and to know where inside you they come from.

When thinking of the internal it is important to know that there is only one. Your internal. Every person has their own but yours is the only one you have control over. That does not however mean that you do not have influences over theirs. This is where a symbiotic relationship takes place.

When you interact with someone, your subconscious will recognise the other person and instantly start to create your response. You then have an emotional response to the interaction that person had with you. You will start to consciously create your reply and then exchange it with that person. This is a very normal process and is part of what makes us the social creatures we are. Having this type of raw response can often lead us into situations that we would preferably try to avoid. You could be in a fight with someone you find dear and get emotional over something that they said that maybe they didn’t mean or didn’t say in the way they meant. Having a raw emotional response to this type of interaction could lead you into a situation that you don’t want to find yourself in. It is within these situations that reflexing back into oneself can make a difference.

When interacting with someone it’s important to think twice before you speak. I’m Sure we have all heard that one before, but it’s where the real difference lies. Our response to the world is one of the most important aspects of living. By taking control of your response, you improve your relationship with the external. The response is the final act in exchanging with your external. Once you have responded to what has been received you can’t change what has been put out there. That’s why taking a moment to look back can make all the difference. Once you have something you want to say or do, try to recognise what you are consciously perceiving. When looking at your conscious thought, you open yourself up to a deeper level of self-understanding. Our thoughts are very emotionally driven, but do you understand where your emotion comes from? When you recognise your conscious thought and halt yourself from creating a final response, you leave yourself room to understand where these thoughts come from. By catching your emotions and recognising that they are linked to your subconscious, thought you can start to understand their origin.

Understanding the origins of your emotions does take time. For example, if your emotion is anger and your conscious thought was to lash out at your respondent, it can be beneficial to look back onto the origins of your emotion. Asking yourself questions about the emotions is a good start to understanding their origins. Is the person causing you anger trying to do so deliberately? Is your anger justified or reasonable? A very important question you could ask yourself is ‘Will my emotional response improve the situation?’ By going backwards internally you can improve the outcome of your response and change the situation. This is not always easy but can make the difference and the more you practice this way of thinking, the more it can benefit you.

If we take happiness as another example, you’ll find that this internal practice can still be beneficial. When you’re wanting to respond positively to a person, you can go back and try to understand your emotion. By looking further into why the emotion is present you can find a deeper meaning behind your emotion. Having this deeper understanding of your emotions’ origins, you give yourself space to reply in a way that emanates from the mind and the heart.

This type of internal practice does not just have to be with people. You can apply this way of thinking to many different things and many different scenarios. Even when you’re on your own. Everything from the sight of flowers, to the sight of rubbish, carries an emotional response. Some thoughts are more present than others, but they all carry emotions. Flowers could bring a smile to your face and by looking into the emotional origin of that feeling you might find a deeper reason for its presence. Maybe the flowers make you think of your family garden, driving past fields of flowers in spring season, or that time your special opposite brought you flowers. By looking into emotional origin, you allow yourself to cultivate new perspectives and new thoughts.

So, when you see rubbish lying around and have the feeling of unhappiness or anger become present. Take a moment to look into why you feel this way and open yourself up to better understanding the thoughts behind these emotions. Maybe you really care for the environment and the thought of others disregard for nature upsets you. It’s a very reasonable feeling to have, but those that disregard nature are beyond your current control. If you caught the person in the act you could approach the situation, but even then, to take a moment and look back on your emotions and improve your response could have that person see their faults instead of just having them respond to your original emotion. Whether you see someone throw rubbish where it does not belong or the rubbish was there to begin with. Please pick it up.

There are many ways that your internal perspective on things, people, places, and moments can be improved. It just takes you to give yourself time to look further within and better your understanding of self and your internal.

The External

The world is mad and crazy but also beautiful. Every person has a unique view of the world. Some are positive and some are negative, but everyone’s view is different. This is one of the reasons that the external is often beyond your control. There is an infinite number of ways a person could live and no one individual can understand every view. It’s the same for every other individual when they look at you. You can have known someone your entire life and they can still surprise you.

To understand that the world is beyond control can be very freeing when viewing it in a positive way. You can’t change everything in the world and even that which you can change is not always conclusive. But this is where the true symbiotic relationship between the internal and external comes into fruition.

The external is not yours, but your internal choices can affect the external in many ways. A plant that is dying from lack of water is not able to water itself. It is dependent of external factors like rain to help it stay alive. You can’t bring forth rains to water the plant, but you can internally decide to provide it with water yourself. This is one example of how the internal and external can function symbiotically.

It is the same for people. You can’t make a choice for someone but you can share your internal perspective and thoughts with a person to aid them with their choice. The final choice is theirs and you cannot make it for them. It’s the same the other way around. Your choices are yours and their external influences that they share with you can’t take consequence for your actions.

This is how the external and internal dance together throughout life. You have influence over others thoughts and energy but not their final action. You can interact with the external and have your efforts and energy alter the outcome but the outcome is never definite. Having a deeper understanding of your internal and how you aim to respond and interact with the external can aid you into creating a relationship between the two that benefits both. By having knowledge of your thought, action, and emotion, you can better understand how your response to the external will affect it.

The effect is still not definite but your relationship with the external is now better understood, because the one side which you have control over is fully in your grasp.

The Symbiosis

By understanding this symbiosis between Internal and external you can better understand how you choose to interact with your surroundings. The internal is everything that is you. From your Ego and your mind to your soul, it is all internally defined by you. You can choose how you want to live your life for yourself, as well as choose how you want to interact with the world.

Do you want to be strong and kind when you feel life is difficult? It takes your own personal effort to change the way you think and the way you want to be. Do you want to be able to improve the way you view certain things in life? Then dive into your internal and try to understand where your thoughts and emotions come from.

There have been many moments in my life where I have been able to change the way I interact with the world. Some of these moments don’t always benefit me, but all of them have allowed me to create an environment for myself where I have been able to grow mentally and emotionally. This way of viewing the world from an internal and external perspective, may not be for everyone but I hope that you can see it the way I do.

Written by: Phillip van Rijswijk

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