The Observing Self: A Tool Essential to Save Ourselves and Our Planet
Do you see yourself as others see you?
One thing to remember is people don’t think much much of you.
I don’t mean they disparage you, I mean they are usually too busy thinking of themselves to think of you (or anybody else).
Are you an agent of change in your life or are you acted upon by life?
This is a minor-league victim posture characterized by people who say things such as
“Well, they did X so I can’t do Y.”
Sometimes that’s true, of course (think of death and taxes), but not always.
Do you move out, “lean in,”go forth, attack life, or do you wait for life to happen to you?
You can’t be on the attack all the time but what if you are never on the attack but always in a defensive posture?
The observing self allows you to examine this profitably.
By: Jane Simon in The Huffington Post.
(This is Part 25 in a series of articles about the “self.”)
When I mention the term “observing self” or “observing ego” most people look at me with a quizzical expression as if such talk should stay in my office. But the “observing self” has broad application in and outside the psychotherapist’s terrain because it can create an awareness of self and a sense of place in the world.
The observing ego, or the split between our experience and our observation of it, allows us to perceive and change.
By contrast, without the observing self, we experience ourselves as “acted upon,” or lacking control, and in the extreme, as a victim, similar to a caged animal.
In short, developing an “observing self” early on and with great effort helps to impart agency. “Agency is not automatic,” the New York Times journalist David Brooks writes. “It has to be given birth to with pushing and effort. It’s not just the confidence and drive to act. It’s having engraved inner criteria to guide action. The agency moment can happen at any age, or never.”
Read full article HERE
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Up next: The Self, Part 26: How much do we really change after 30?