Observe the self, heal yourself

nakedThe ego self is the unobserved self. If you do not find an objective standing point from which to look back at yourself, you will almost always be egocentric—identified with yourself instead of in relationship with yourself. Ego is not bad; it is just what takes over when you do not see truthfully and completely.

Much of the early work of contemplation is discovering a way to observe yourself from a distance and learning how to return there in moments of emotional turmoil (positive as much as negative), until you can eventually live more and more of your life from this awareness. You will find yourself smiling, sighing, and “weeping” at yourself, more than either hating or congratulating yourself (both of which are ego needs).

This knowing of self must be compassionate and calmly objective. It names the moment for what it is, without need to praise or blame my reaction to it. This takes away my reaction’s addictive and self-serving character so that it no longer possesses me. Now I have a feeling instead of a feeling having me. It gives me a strong sense of “I,” because there is now no need to eliminate or deny the negative. (My full self is accepted.) Ironically, the truly destructive part of the negative is exposed and falls away now as unnecessary. To see the negative is to defeat it, for evil relies upon denial and disguise. — Richard Rohr from The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See

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