My husband and I are “fixing up” our house. We allotted ourselves a budget, so I looked through magazines for ideas to modernize and make our house prettier, and then I showed my husband the pictures. He wasn’t impressed.
“We have to start with the innards,” he said. “Those things that are not working correctly and really need to be fixed–like the AC, the hot water heater, the sprinkler system, better insulation, etc.”
Innards are the interior workings of a thing, the insides or guts. Innards don’t sound exciting, let alone beautiful. Often, they are hidden, so we don’t even notice them, and they don’t make a house prettier— they do, however, make a house last.
Not many of us want to look at the innards of things–especially the interior innards of our own ‘selves.’ One reason might be out of shame, because we know we could do better, and haven’t.
Another reason is that inner things are often harder to fix. It’s easier to spruce ourselves up on the outside with new clothes, hair-cuts, or make-up. We want the world to see a pretty outside, rather than do the harder work of BEING a better person inside.
How do we get to be a better person? We first have to take a good look at ourselves—especially the way we treat others. We have to be able to stand in the other person’s shoes in order to feel compassion for him or her. If we have compassion, it’s easier not to get angry with another. It’s also easier to forgive if we try to understand the person who’s hurt us.
These inner qualities can only be seen through the actions we take toward others—and ourselves, because we’re meant to love ourselves as well, and to forgive ourselves, too.
Do we want to be just another prettied up face in the crowd? Or do we want to be a person who matters in the lives of others?
Before we concentrate on our superficial looks, let’s first see if our innards need fixing and start there.