The Truth of Who I Am

"Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free." -Eckhart Tolle

Inside Out

on August 27, 2013

That’s the most clever title I could think of for this post. And after getting to the end of sharing some truths of who I am here, I debated whether or not I wanted to post them on my blog. A little voice is talking at me and trying to convince me to save this sap for my personal reading. I recognize that voice from having seen this YouTube a while back.

So here goes…

There are so many ways to grow up. My four year-old told me that when she grows up wants to be a pediatrician and a veterinarian and also a mommy with babies and dogs. I say go for it, sweet little girl of mine. Growing up can be about what you choose to do in your life and who you have in it. Growing up can also be about independence and freedom from the constraints of your parents.

For me, growing up has meant and still means living my life from the inside out. There is an outside and an inside to each of us. The inside is where our soul is – where love is in its purest form. It’s the essence of who we are – an essence of God. Our outsides are a little messy – they are Band-Aids and scar tissue and masks and armor we put on to heal or protect us from the world when we learn that sometimes we can get hurt. Often, the outside is where many of us live from and the only parts of us that others ever know.

I believe our life’s quest is to live from the inside out. I know this is why I started this blog. I’ve spent much of my life listening to people and trying to understand them and hear their stories and learn about how their stories shaped and molded them into the person they are in the moment I am with them. Through their stories, I hoped to see their insides. I have always longed to know their insides. While I certainly admired and noticed their shoes and clothing and accessories (can’t help this innate passion), I have often look into their eyes and words to see if I could see their insides, their souls. Even when I was a shy little kid, I listened intently and tried to look into their eyes when I thought they wouldn’t notice. And I noticed a lot – sad spirits and fearful spirits and open, vulnerable spirits and tired and despairing spirits – some of whom told the most jokes and laughed the loudest. It’s not easy to live inside out. It’s a bit scary.

I know this from experience. I was a painfully shy child up until the ninth grade. Before that I followed my older sister everywhere and tried to be in her circles and and with her friends as best as I could. I didn’t think I was capable of making my own friends. I paid close attention to my sister’s outspoken, adventurous, spontaneous and very big personality and admired her while being wholly taken by her. She was, and still is, cool in my book. I, on the other hand, had quieter ways and while I could be a very loyal and fun friend to the (very) few I made, I spent most of my young life filtering and checking and doubting and disguising my insides because I didn’t want to be too sappy or too sensitive or too self-absorbed or too emotional.

But living that way eventually catches up with all of us, I believe. At our very core is pure love and for some of us, fear creeps in while we are going about living our lives and stifles our love selves. No, that’s not a typo – love is our self. Love is our spirit. It’s God. God is love. Love is at the center of each of us. So this is what my new journey has become – a quest to live life from the inside out whatever that means in the moment. Life is a quest to start from love. To approach every interaction, work, relationship, decision, everything starting at love. Growing up has been a journey of love, a series of lessons on how to love more and better and wisely. It’s a journey deep into love….or spirit…which is really my simple religion. We are all spirit and spirit is all love. Those masks and Band-Aids we gather while living wear us down because love, spirit, God just cannot be contained. I love this quote by James Baldwin:

My life’s journey is simply about taking off the mask so that I can live and love freely. And the beauty is that only love can do that for me. and it’s already there. It always has been. I have to love from deep within and I have to live from the inside out. That’s where the real love is. And here’s another great quote by James (I can be on a first name basis with him on MY blog):

Growing up is hard, no doubt. I find myself constantly digging deeper into my thoughts and actions and decisions and word choices. The hardest part for me is noticing how often I fall short in my quest to live from the inside out. How often I speak words out of fear rather than love. How often I simply forget to start from love. And I realize that I am still growing up. Still learning to love. Still learning to live from the inside out. The battle and the war has always been within me. The enemy is right there on the outside, constructed by fear. The answer is right there within it – love. I will grow up. I will win. Love will come out from the inside and win. Love always wins.

Truthfully yours,



8 responses to “Inside Out

  1. Kathleen Niestadt says:

    Hey, I just read this post, and am happy someone else has the same feelings about life that I do. I am just starting out in the blogging world, and am definitely showing my “insides”, and I am scared to death, but I believe that this will bring about healing for myself, and hopefully countless others. I am hoping to find the love you are talking about, then share it with those around me. Thanks for showing your truth.

    • justrhina says:

      Kathleen! Thanks for reading and for your comment. Welcome to blogging. I just started back in March and I’m loving it. I started with the same intentions as you. I’ve had to be brave and it feels good. And it’s helped me feel connected to people because, at the heart of it, we’re all the same, aren’t we. Good luck with your blog. I will check it out. What’s the address?

  2. Love always wins…It’s the truth. How beautiful.

  3. don’t know how to express here Rhina….this is so ,from deep within …inside out

  4. Oh yes my sister you are prolific! And this book we must do… you amaze me with each new posting…I am speechless but so in sink with you…Love you much! Always…<3

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