Being an Observer

When we are willing to observe, we are willing to develop a relationship with the world that has no judgement in it. To observe is to choose to not react to what we receive through our senses, but to feel a deeper understanding of what is around us.

Yesterday I went to town with my son. I had a meeting with a friend and my son had a drawing class to go to. He does not have an amicable relationship with his teacher and therefore has expressed to me his reluctance to go to the class. We have come a long way in our relationship with each other for him to be able to share his feelings this honestly with me.

I immediately appreciated how far we have come and the quality of the connection between us.

This deeper connection between us developed with understanding and acceptance of each other. Coming to a deeper understanding and appreciation of myself, as well as my son’s development, is a very beautiful surrender. It dissolved the picture of how we have to be and freed the both of us to simply be ourselves and, with each choice we make, to continue to trust more deeply who we are. In this process there is an absence of a picture or an expectation of what this development looks like, especially in regards to having a time frame.

So yesterday, after we parted ways, I simply felt a very solid trust with myself and with him. A few hours later, into the evening, when I was having dinner with a group of friends, I received a text message from my son’s art teacher informing me that he did not show up for the class.

Immediately many thoughts flooded my mind, such as “How could he?”, “What?!?”, “Is he okay?” etc., but without reacting to these thoughts I stayed with myself and simply observed. I allowed myself a moment, and as I was still having dinner with friends, I simply allowed myself to sit with the feelings.

I felt the time I needed to leave, did not rush or delay it, said goodbye to my friends and throughout the walk towards the pier where I was going to take the ferry home, I continued to observe the feelings that arose. I could feel that there was a very faint lingering of a pattern of going into sadness from the reaction of being let down, which I simply surrendered more deeply into feeling.

After the ferry ride I had to take a bus home, and I received a phone call from my son. His voice was not audible in the call and I told him so, although I knew he was talking to me. When his voice did come through momentarily, it was a high-pitched shout, in reaction to him not being heard. And yet, as I was already in observation mode from the restaurant, I was still able to simply observe and no feelings of hurt arose as a result of the tone of his voice.

The moment I walked into the door of my home, my son came out to greet me in a joyful mood. Without judgement, I simply expressed, “There must be something you are feeling very stressed about if you chose not to go to class today, and I would like to understand what it is.” I also expressed how I felt finding this out from a third party. Because there was no judgement, my son communicated openly that he did go to his class, but while he was walking in he suddenly remembered a hurtful episode from his last class when he felt the teacher was not understanding and respectful of him, so he decided to go home.

This was probably the first communication between us that, even though we were touching on a topic that felt hurtful, we chose to express without reaction. Immediately with our choice to communicate in this way, our connection deepened even more. I was let into my son’s world more deeply, a side he has never verbalised or shared with me, and immediately my understanding of him deepened because we were communicating with words rather than with just outbursts of emotions followed with periods of non-communication.

An observation I have gathered from my relationship with the city I grew up in is that communicating from reactions – for example, speaking with sarcasm, frustration, outrage and with a sense of withdrawal – is an ingrained and normalised way of being.

Hence, my son’s previous reactions of frustration and anger would have seemed quite normal to him as they were very often mirrored in the world around him, to the likely detriment of us all.

… In essence, speaking in reaction like this is our unwillingness to admit that we are hurt.

It was by being present and being honest about my hurts that I found I could return to being observant by choice. Therefore it is very clear that this is what I will move into next in communication with my son and, from there, all others.

Inspired by the body’s wisdom to continuously feel and express deeper in commitment to observing, understanding and not absorbing life.

By Anonymous

Further Reading:
Learning to Observe and Not Absorb Life
The Science of hurts
To Observe and Not absorb

741 thoughts on “Being an Observer

  1. It is to not let our own hurts to be the focus. To feel our hurts and meanwhile feeling seeing understanding the other too.

  2. Taking more responsibility for the source of my reactions has begun to change my relationship with my children. It is amazing and a bit shocking how much I used interactions with them to fill up an emptiness I didn’t want to deal with.

  3. Gorgeous blog, there is such a depth of understanding to come to when we choose to observe and allow all to be shared honestly.

  4. It is deeply healing to come to a place where you become honest about what you are feeling and take responsibility for your hurts and reactions so to not only not impose them on another but also address and let go of what stands in the way of true communication. A beautiful start to deepen any relationship.

  5. It seems like, being an observer you actually ‘see’ more of the whole picture of what is going on, as a reaction narrows down this vision so you only see a part of the whole situation. And in being in the observation of something, you actually have the capacity to meet the other person truly, which gives them to opportunity to arrest and pull them up and out of their reaction of there being a ‘right’ or a ‘wrong’.

  6. The problem with reacting, and trust me I do my fair share of it, is that we immediately reduce our capability to understand a situation in full, for already our perception of the situation is coloured by our frustration or other reaction to what we are seeing.

  7. Observing is not only making you just receive that what is there to be seen and communicated but it also gives others the opportunity to do the same, to not go into reaction but invited to connect with themselves instead.

    1. Absolutely Nico, by observing life and situations instead of absorbing, we are able to offer clarity, understanding and healing. We are all capable of healing and expressing truth when we simply observe and live from a place of love.

  8. Throughout my childhood and most of my adult life I gave my power away by absorbing what was going on around me. From this I often felt imprisoned by fear and was not able to see life with clarity or love. In this state I was contributing to the hurts and the unloving choices, cementing them instead of exposing the hurts and choosing to heal. Now, I am learning to observe and not absorb, and it feels very empowering and deeply healing. This is one of many, many amazing tools I have learnt from attending Universal Medicine.

  9. When we are in reaction it is always a reaction that we are not in our fullness and we are resisting to take more responsibility to go deeper into more awareness.

  10. Having a willingness to understand another allows us to observe and not absorb, it is true responsibility, as when we react we absorb that which is not from our essence affecting the quality of our movements and creating harm instead of healing.

  11. Observing with no judgement is something I am learning to live, and this naturally helps me to not absorb or go into reaction; bringing in understanding and acceptance helps with this.

  12. Anonymous, this is really interesting, ‘In essence, speaking in reaction like this is our unwillingness to admit that we are hurt.’ i can feel how I have this in my family, that I feel hurt and go into reaction rather than observing and staying practical and so then I have found that if I am in reaction it is impossible to have an open, loving conversation about what is really going on, thank you for making this clear.

  13. A powerful message that shows that even if we may initially react to a situation as soon as we stop and observe without judgement or criticism the truth is revealed. Once we react we are not able to see the truth and bring understanding to the situation because we have laced it in our hurts and pictures of past experiences.

    1. I still react… often. The reactions are less explosive, but nonetheless, I still react. Even when I react, what has changed though, is how I hold myself, rather than going into a full-blown reaction of self-judgement on the reaction, I can now simply acknowledge that I have reacted or express what I am feeling. I truly appreciate the process of being a student in life.

  14. I am loving becoming an observer; a far cry from the days when I would go into reaction in an instant and then wonder why everything would begin to escalate, especially the emotions that would bubble up and out of me at great speed. These days if I feel even a hint of going into a reaction I know to stop and observe what is going on around me and inside me, and then take my time to respond, but like any changes in our lives, it often takes time to totally dismantle the old and begin to live the new.

  15. I love this story, it beautifully demonstrates the deeper level of connection we can share with each other if we observe and not absorb. You can see the game we can fall into when we chose to react to emotion and then respond from that same place.

  16. Choosing to be the observer through using our forgotten and wonderful 6th sense, clairsentience, is a game-changer. In fact it says ‘no’ to the game of creation. I have been dedicated to observing myself (and others) and what lies underneath every event. Sometimes I am unable to feel what I am carrying from the past but find that if I am willing for this to be revealed it inevitably is, maybe not on the spot, but the revelation comes without fail. The everyday miracles that come as a result of naming and feeling what we carry is spectacular!

    1. Thank you Lyndy. Your comment reminds me how open and light my body feels when I allow myself to playfully observe life.

  17. The more I am learning to observe the more I am becoming aware of how little I do so, how deeply automatic and engrained is the reaction that is sparked inside, or in fact living in one constant reaction. But now with the recognition of the constant reaction and protection comes the freedom to let it go… and in that is possible even greater observation and awareness.

  18. The responsibility of observation is immense. A few days ago I observed that I was being reactive but I also observed how my partner did not react towards my reactions and in observing that too, what I was being led by dissolved and I was able to be clear of the process as well as to go back and understand what brought me to the reaction. Reflections from each other are very precious and supportive.

  19. I appreciate each and every opportunity in catching myself in reaction, these are moments of gold for me to understand my momentums and where there are still voids for lifelessness to enter, it is wondrous to learn more about myself and to be able to choose if this is a momentum I wish to continue.

  20. Observing and not absorbing is something that I heard presented many, many years ago by Serge Benhayon and on numerous occasions since. I have found it to be an incredibly powerful and valuable teaching that has and continues to transform my life in many wonderful ways.

    1. I don’t think we can ever fully master it as there are always things that slip in, but I have experienced that with a true intent and awareness I am observing more and absorbing less and less. Benefits have included losing a lot of weight (to reach a very healthy weight), increased vitality and health as well as much more understanding, love and fun in my life and lots more – really worth it!

  21. When I observe myself going into reaction I observe that too and not react on the initial reaction, knowing there is no perfection in observation, and it is not about reaching a goal, but to equip myself with a steadiness that is very supportive in life. Whenever I have reached a certain level, life gives me another level to go to for more.

    1. Wise words Adele. In any given moment we each have the choice as to whether we allow ourselves to feel the depth of what is there, or not. Once we give ourselves permission to ‘feel it all’ we then have the choice whether we react to the situation by way of becoming emotionally involved, or whether we simply respond to it by deeply observing and feeling what exactly is at play. Far from aloofness or detachment, this unattached observation is what helps us steer a steady course through life and gives us the rock solid foundation that allows us to commit whole-heartedly to sharing our true self with the world.

  22. “To observe is to choose to not react to what we receive through our senses, but to feel a deeper understanding of what is around us.” This is so amazing this line, reacting to things that happen around us always diminishes who we are. We forget in that instant that we are love, that we hold everyone equally, that we can bring understanding. So being able to observe and not absorb is an incredible life teaching.

    1. Whenever I feel I am in reaction, I observe that the steps that have led me to there did not confirm my own love. And therefore, those steps I would not be choosing to take again. Our “forgetfulness” comes from our choices of moving in a way that is non-confirming and non-appreciating ourselves. And the most awesome thing is, even though we may have moved in a way which may not be confirming at times, we can still choose right at that moment to move right there back to Love and not wallow in what we call mistakes. The depth of what life offers us to learn is inspiring.

  23. I love the simplicity of, in essence, that when we speak from reaction it reveals our unwillingness to admit that we are hurt. So simple, and a great thing to be aware of and back track to the lovelessness or hurt underneath.

  24. Prior to coming to Universal medicine I had studied and learned many psychological, mental, physiological and energetic methods of cutting down the severity of reactions in life. Pretty much all of them involved numbing or distancing myself from the event.

    I was amazed from day one when Universal Medicine supported me to expand my understanding plus deepen my stillness and connection with my own essence, and this lead to a fundamental change in experience such that I had never experienced before, because not only was I no longer agitated, but I felt more connected with and loving of the person involved, no numbing or cutting off! I was amazed. This increased ability to stay connected with, understanding of and loving towards people and the world has turned my life round.

  25. Thank you Anonymous. I have found that my reactions stop me from seeing situations clearly. Reaction goes hand in hand with blame and when I begin to start blaming anyone and anything else for the way I feel I end up in more trouble than ever.

  26. Observing life whilst being fully engaged with it is the key to not absorbing it all and thus drowning in a false way to be.

  27. “To observe is to choose to not react to what we receive through our senses, but to feel a deeper understanding of what is around us.” This can be very challenging at times, I always go into situations with the intent to not react, but it does happen. I am finding that it is in going deeper and understanding why have I reacted, what is it that I have felt that I may not want to, or feel. It is in that process of choosing to feel more deeply what is really going on, that can assist us in not reacting to the same things next time.

  28. I often find that reactions stem from a picture I have of how life is supposed to be and when it’s not like that I can react, instead of accepting and observing.

  29. The beauty in learning to be an observer is the depth of awareness and understanding that is available when we choose to not react with emotion and stay open to seeing all that is being offered to respond to in each moment.

  30. There is such a beauty when you start to express with children and everyone as grown up beings and not pander to either behaviour nor age. We are all adult beings and very wise. Often we tend to treat children as not being able to understand certain things and we think we have to parent them but in many cases it’s actually them that carries the wisdom of many situations and we adults are the ones that can learn a lot from their innocent and open approach to life. If they are not met with this or allowed the space it’s easy for them to shut down and live in reaction to life and we get to see the retaliation in forms of certain challenging behaviours. But it’s just them showing that they don’t feel met.

  31. I am finding that to observe life rather than react is a surrender to all that is there to be shared and from that sharing we gain a greater understanding and expansion of the whole moment piece by piece. It is an expansion for us to make a choice and the willingness to see all that is being shared with an open heart.

  32. It is crucial to not take anything personally. Yet we need to build a platform within ourselves to support this – for example, we need to clear our hurts and build a foundation of value for ourselves, knowing that we are truly Sons of God. This greatly facilitates our ability to be able to observe and so come to truth instead of discord. The power of observation dissolves disharmony and brings on understanding.

  33. The art or science of observation is immensely powerful and totally underestimated. Reading your blog again Anonymous I could feel the depth of understanding and clarity we get by allowing ourselves the space to observe. In a split second reaction, whether it is anger frustration or judgement, we loose that connection to the bigger picture and what is really at play. I love the fact that by waiting and not rushing into anything you gave both you and your son the space to open up and reveal with honesty why he did not go to his class. We can all learn from what you have offered here.

  34. So beautiful to feel the depth of understanding we can go to, letting ourselves not be guided by false judgement but getting to the bottom of what is going on is only what is supporting us all to heal.

  35. Learning to truly observe situations, events and people (including ourselves) leads us to a greater understanding whereas reacting keeps our issues alive and much bigger than we are.

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