To See Myself As Others See Me

I was in a queue. Complaining with others about something. Then my consciousness shifted. It was as if I were floating above the situation. I witnessed myself. It was painful. I shut up. Calmed down. Became more pleasant.

Roberto Assagioli developed a school of psychology–back when psychologists were discovering interesting things about mind and soul and not mindlessly arguing over what causes ADHD–called psychosynthesis. I read his books some 40 years ago. If you can find them, check them out.

He describes this process that I described from a life experience. It is a technique we can develop as a step toward self-awareness.

Yesterday’s note concerned being aware of what triggers our anger or temper. This is a technique we can use in the moment to help guide us back to a Jesus-centered life instead of a me-centered life.

We can expand this use from helping us relate to others or even understanding others in greater detail.

Perhaps we’ve expanded our level of consciousness so that we can see ourselves as actors in a larger context–that is, not just us and our wants but others, too. Perhaps we shift awareness to those close to us. We notice that certain things set off their alarms. We notice that other things make them feel better. Maybe we could even develop our interaction with the other person by becoming aware of them, aware of what they like, and then respond appropriately.

Some people are naturals at this. Others of us must develop the focus on others. Some can peek through their narcissistic shell just long enough to notice others, but they lack the will to respond.

I learned from Jesus and then from his brother James that feeling nice doesn’t count. It’s feeling and doing. Maybe even doing first to achieve the feeling (yes it works in reverse that way).

Or, as Robert Burns said so eloquently

O, wad some Power the giftie gie us

To see oursels as ithers see us!

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