How does one focus on themselves when our physical composition is constructed to focus on the external world?
The saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.”
As a highly sensitive and empathetic person, I have to tell myself to focus on myself. But what is in sight is everyone else. I mean this in the most literal way possible.
Today, as I practiced a moment of mindfulness whilst drinking water, (because I love myself and want myself to be hydrated), I noticed my hands and I thought, “Oh, there I am. I see myself.”
For most of my life, I am not seeing myself unless I pass by a mirror. Otherwise, I am seeing others. For the majority of human history, we have not even be able to see ourselves.
It becomes more complex than that. How do we navigate relating to ourselves and others when we can not see ourselves but we constantly see the external appearance of others? To be human is to experience the self without ever being able to use our sense of vision to focus on the self and vision is the primary way that most of us sense most of humanity. We appear to be wired to have a great sensed difference— a perception barrier.
However, the point I am writing about is not how we experience others and what can be done about it.
The point is, how can we focus on ourselves?
The innate wisdom that we carry tells us that there is a complex and entirely separate self to the self that people see or that we see when we pass our reflection. The self is so separate from the outer shell that at times we look in the mirror and think, “Is that me?”
There is the moment when a person is confronted with death and the boundary between the perceived self and the body seems to disappear because although we can not see ourselves most of the time, once our body has completed its journey on earth, it appears that it takes our other self with us.
So we are apparently bound to our outer self that we never truly see.
Outside of the nuances surrounding the self, I wonder how creatures created to see are meant to focus on the self.
Again, this is useful for those who are always focused on others.
An idea that comes to mind is meditation.
There are different types of meditation and to experience one’s self observational meditation would be useful. Observational meditation is a practice where we allow the body to be still, close our eyes and observe the inner self. We have to intentionally decide to focus on ourself, if not, it seems life will slip away always having had ourself, “out of sight and out of mind.”
Maybe this is part of what is meant by the third eye. Maybe when we close our eyes our third eye allows us to see ourself. Maybe, with time and practice, we can use our third eye to see ourself and the inner selves of the people around us.