Can I observe myself without being judged?

Commentary by José Parés Pérez. Concepción, Chile.

It’s amazing how little we know about ourselves. Until after many years of my life, specifically until the time they gave me the responsibility at work to manage other people, as a supervisor or a teacher, it never occurred to me to look inside myself in order to observe what I felt. And it was probably because I often realized that I might be affecting other people’s feelings and that echoed back to me.

Nothing formal, just some bursts in the moments in which I realized that my hand must have become heavier than usual.

Never then and for a long time thereafter did I distinguish between observation and judgment about the others, even less about myself. It was just an activity, observe and decide. It is only in these last few years, upon understanding the importance that being informed about your inner reality and deciding your actions in coherence with it has on the well-being of the people, that I have prepared myself to clearly separate the observation of how I feel from the actions carried out after the observation. I have understood that all reality, seemingly external to me, is captured and interpreted by myself.

Both activities can be totally different if we observe ourselves attentively and intentionally.

The mere observation of these characteristics leads us, generally, to not interpret what has been observed: an observation without judgment, just learning about myself or about the others.

If my interpretation is required for the performed activity, it is based on my memories that are the product of my knowledge and thoughts that come from the beliefs and customs that are typical of the culture in which I grew up.

It is very rare that the interpretation of external reality be born of what I feel with regard to what I perceive. In fact, only what I feel is actually present.

Whatever I think or believe is in the past. Therefore, interpretation, which feeds an occasional judgment, could be completely harmful to the well-being of the people or that of mine.

At work or in our relationships, we must observe others more often. This constitutes a reality that is potentially very damaging, but when executed properly, it is potentially very beneficial.

People suffer because they resist what they dislike. That resistance that is so natural for us, is the source of more than 50% of the suffering that the people experienced, according to the recent studies of the Canary Association for the Development of Health through Attention to the Present.

Learning to not resist the reality that we live happens when we observe ourselves without judging ourselves.