According to Webster’s Dictionary, navel gazing means this: Useless or excessive self-contemplation.
It’s part of our dialect and culture now (obvious from all those “reality” shows on nearly every channel) or as Wikipedia says, we use it in “jocular fashion, to refer to self-absorbed pursuits.”
It comes from the word, Omphaloskepsis, “the contemplation of one’s navel as an aid to meditation.” This navel-gazing thing goes way back, y’all. Many religions regard it as a good thing since if we get in touch with ourselves, we get in touch with the cosmo and some consider the navel to be a “powerful chakra.”
I get that.
Anyway, I guess I’ve been doing a lot of it lately and I’ll probably be doing more of it. For the next few weeks anyway.
I’m in that place before leaving one place to go to another, wrapping things up here to go there. Cutting ties. Things like that. It’s getting down to the wire and as The Boss said, “Man, I’m just tired and bored with myself.”
I feel as if I’ve been fumbling around in the dark for awhile now, wondering what this next chapter of my life will bring. And because I believe things happen the way they are supposed to, I’m looking forward to getting to that next place.
Look at that, I’m doing it again.
Belly Button Trivia
Anyway, it got me to thinking about navels, belly-buttons. So I googled that. About why some of us have innies and some of us have outies. I’m an innie by the way. According to an NBC News Health article, most people are innies, nearly 90 percent. Some people have surgery to correct it — that outie thing. Whatever. If I’m going to have plastic surgery to improve something, it won’t be my navel.
According to the same article, when the doc snipped the umbilical cord, you get an innie or an outie “when the stalk from the leftover cord dries up leaving an abdominal scar.”
But, don’t blame the doc the article goes on to say, it’s got everything to do with “the presence of space between the skin and the abdominal wall.” What does that mean exactly? If Mom has a thicker ab wall and skin, then you get an outie? Please healthcare people, weigh in here.
I think of babies with that tiny little cord stump, waiting for that last little piece of her/his connection to Mom to fall off. That life-giving connection that fed us, gave us life until we could make it on our own.
Maybe there’s something to all this navel gazing we do.
More Random Belly-Button and Navel-Gazing Trivia
Major Nelson could bare his navel when he wanted and gaze at it, but Jeannie couldn’t.
According to Wikipedia, “The Motion Picture Production Code. . .banned the exposure of the navel because it simulated an erogenic orifice. The navel was censored in women and not in men because the simulation or upward displacement from vagina to navel was commonplace and obvious in women.” Wow. I think this was going on in the 1950s.
Marilyn Monroe and Cher were two women who blazed the trail of female navel baring and gazing.
I’m getting off topic here. This is obviously an entirely different post.
Me, Navel-Gazing One Night
The other night I was sitting out on my noisy, temporary balcony having a glass of wine. I called my Mom. “Mom,” I said, “I’m having a glass of wine sitting on my noisy balcony, feeling sorry for myself and I need you to tell me to shut up and get on with things.”
“Brigitte,” she said, “Get on with things. Everything will be alright.”
My Mom has an unshakable faith and a network of family and friends. She’s been through many of those life-altering things — the things we all go through eventually, if we live long enough, as we move through this life.
You Do It. I Do It. We All Do It.
Maybe it’s not so bad that we navel-gaze from time to time. After all, if we didn’t we wouldn’t be alive whether we’re in or out of the womb. It’s self-preservation, protection. It may seem narcissistic at times, but necessary in order for us to contemplate, weigh things out, figure out what we need to do in order to survive. Get on with life.
Because after all:
It’s not useless, this navel-gazing we do. That’s why many of us blog, put our thoughts, expressions and everything else out there — we are communicating with each other, revealing things about ourselves. Asking others to validate our feelings, our dreams, our sorrows and joys. If that’s navel-gazing, then I’m good with it.
And seriously, if you look at your navel, it’s one of the things on your body that stays the same. Whether you’re a baby, a kid, a twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy and beyond-something, it’s the same. It doesn’t age. Just everything around it does.
So take a good long look at it and love it. We all need to navel gaze from time to time. Maybe that’s why we all keep doing it.
Are you an innie or an outie? How are you navel-gazing these days? Share please. It’s okay, really it is.
And because I mentioned The Boss earlier in this post and a line from one of his songs, enjoy.