There is the tendency to look outside ourselves to find acceptance, love, happiness, even spiritual direction or experiences. If we are not comfortable in ourselves whatever we find outside won’t meet what we need.
Seeking to fill the the outside ourselves causes us difficulties. Relationships can be ended or damage becaus the need leads to disappointment as other people can’t meet the need. Attending church or other religious experiences feel like going through the motions. Sometimes we seek objects and/or money. In short, nothing fills that feeling.
And thou who thinketh to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou knoweth the mystery; for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without. For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning and I am that which is attained at the end of desire. (Charge of the Goddess- Doreen Valentine)
I went down the road of seeking outside myself for many years. I looked to churches, careers, music, even running. I sought identity. I was vaguely that this was not enough. I found that I was most content when I sought identity inside. It’s been an ongoing process and journey.
A problem with identify outside is things constantly change. I lost my career and performing music outright. While I still run, I am not able to run marathons. The loss of identity after the brain injury crushed me. With identity outside myself, what is left when those things are gone? Nothing but what is within.
Spiritually, it’s been the same thing for me. I sought connection in churches of all kinds. Being told what to believe and how: doctrine and dogma, left me unsatisified. I morally couldn’t embrace teachings where I disagreed. The foundation itself of Christian faith just didn’t make sense. As I looked inside, I found it was not a religion I could embrace for several reasons. My spiritual journey led me to a way of believing that requires inner reflection and a connection to Deity. I am responsible for my own actions, my own journey. The exact beliefs really aren’t relevant here.
“For if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.”