Your internal lies with you. And what happens around you and how you react to it is often not you. Because the external voices, actions, behaviors belong to the people who speak act and behave in such a manner. But we learn from imitation, so we absorb these behaviors and make them our own.
We hate the judging looks of a relative, we find the sharp tongue of a friend unpleasant, we find the incessant nagging of our parents frustrating. But the more time we spend around such people, gradually we come to accept such behaviors and also pick them up ourselves without really knowing.
With so many people around us (online, offline) constantly acting out their ill-formed behaviors, we unknowingly absorb and mimic. In time, we turn into a collage, a rough patchwork of personalities with no room for us inside. It is the presented, exhibited, acted, voiced out, external environment that we let distort our identity.
We internalize this external as we never take the time to explore and build our internal which is – our own nature, our identity, our behaviors, our thoughts, our actions. We cannot just stop spending time with people, and detach ourselves from them entirely. But we can detach ourselves from their attitudes and thinking and choose to remain uninfluenced by them.
Don’t internalize the external, externalize the internal.
These external aspects like people their thinking, their behaviors are not our own but it becomes so when we internalize it and being operating on the same level as their thinking. So when we retaliate to an argument with the same attitude as exhibited by the other person we make his very behavior that bothered us in the first place, our own. Lashing back in a similar manner might seem satisfying, but it soon turns distressing thereafter as in doing so we go against our very nature.
So it is most important to note that we have this choice, on how to react. We can either drop down to the same level the other person is falling to, or we can hold our own and act as if we were our best selves. We can choose anger, rage, hate, to remain stuck in the same spot with the other person or we can choose generosity, understanding, and humility to resolve the matter, build understanding and grow together.
What we choose depends on which level we operate from. If we internalize all the negative attitudes exhibited by many people around us, then that way we discard our very own selves and replace our unique identity by some other makeshift identity we see outside. This way we continue to act terribly even though the situation may not be as worse as it seems and even if it could have been easily resolved had we chosen to act with some thought and consideration about what we were going to say and how we were going to respond.
So again, it is important to remember that we have a choice. And it doesn’t mean we must take the worst one always and justify it as our own behavior and leave it at that. We get to choose what kind of person to be. And what we internalize on a daily basis influences us deeply and determines what kind of person we will turn into. So be observant of what sort of people, thinking, ideas you are surrounding yourself with, they might limit you, or they might serve as a springboard to help identify your own internal and express it.
If you can’t find the latter around you, create such an environment in you, so that you can be the model for others, and you externalizing your internal helps bring out the best in others. It’s a sensitive area which no one touches, as all are so blatantly sure about what they are that they see no room for growth and learning, and become complacent in their narrowly constructed world.
You can be the critic, the one who blames, the one good at name calling, or you can be the one who acts, sets example, and stands up openly, baring your heart and paving a way for change on the road where no one is willing to roll down their windows to see the truth.