by Dr Nikki Starr Noce, MD: As we continue to grow and evolve as humans, we can choose to enter into a space of even more love and compassion…
As we continue on being the best we can be, we begin to notice subtleties about our thoughts, feelings, and reactions to life unfolding around us. To create even more peace and harmony with ourselves, others, and the earth, operating from a place of observation with love and compassion is best serving for all, regardless of the circumstances. So how do we distinguish judgement from observation? How do we shift into a space of compassionate observer?
Judgments can be both positive and negative. A judgment is when we attach a feeling to an observation. But when we observe, we simply witness what is occurring without choosing if it is “right” or “wrong,” “good” or “bad.” What determines our feelings and judgments towards a specific incidence is our past conditioning, upbringing, and life experiences.
Let’s take killing animals as an example. As an observation, humans kill animals for sport and food. There are people who feel this is disgusting, unnecessary and that it must end, while others enjoy it and feel this is necessary for nutrition and for animal population control. I have compassion for both parties and regardless of my beliefs I can choose to see through a lens of compassion and observe that both groups of people are navigating through life the best way they know how.
Even the inflection our voices upon uttering the same words, can help distinguish between observation and judgement. Let’s take something as simple as an experience with a couch, “Look at that couch.” versus “Look at that couch.” Such minor nuances have such major impact in our experience with the world.
Of course feelings are a natural part of being human. The degree to which we experience “positive” and “negative” emotions is directly related to our human experience thus far. When things happen that stir up an old trauma or wound, there is more of a tendency to project negative emotions out into the world. When we feel good, everything we experience seems to be more positive. Also, the extent to which a person feels “good” or “bad” on the inside will affect how “positively” or “negatively” he/she sees the world. Feelings play a big role in our perception of the world.
From the observer mode, there is more of a tendency to accept the world as is–without trying to control it or change it, and without attaching feelings to everything that is happening around us. When we choose to operate from a place of observation, instead of judgment, we are operating from our heart center, and there is a tendency to see the world with even more love and compassion.
The more I began meditating, practicing yoga, and living life with intention, the more I entered into the observer mode. These practices strengthen the observer within us. The observer is our “higher self,” our soul, the person we came here to be this lifetime. When we are connected to this wise part of ourself, we see the world differently. We are able to observe the world without being as affected by what is happening around us, and we tend to react and judge much less.