Inner Observation

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Inner observation. When, how, why?

(Estimated Reading Time: 2 min, 56 sec)

Q: What is the purpose of inner observation? I’m told it helps you experience emotions more consciously. Is this so important? Should I waste time observing what’s going on inside me? Won’t it complicate things? I already have countless concrete problems in my life to solve.

Aurora Mazzoldi - The Anger (detail from the triptych “Appetites”)- Inner observation
Aurora Mazzoldi; The Anger (detail from the triptych “Appetites”)

But how many of these issues can we fully solve without looking inside ourselves? We don’t realize it, but the solution to our issues always comes from within ourselves. With self-observation, we realize it.

My relationship was falling apart, and it wasn’t the first one to end like that. I had a failed marriage behind me, and living together experiences, in which I had placed great expectations; they had failed and left me with a painful emptiness inside and the bitterness of another defeat.

I have had such experiences often in my life.

But I reacted like some of my friends and shut the door in the face of the male world, the cause of my failures. “Men are all the same; they are ill-mannered, spoiled, selfish, overbearing children.”

An important question

In these situations, I used to think, “Why do I always meet such scoundrels?” This time, however, another question came to me: “Why do I continually look for this kind of man?”

I had stopped staring at a fixed point on the horizon and could now encompass a wider panorama.

Try it!

Bring to mind a painful situation you have experienced or are experiencing now!

In these cases, people try to inhibit painful emotions, and then complain: “Look what’s coming my way! What bad luck!”

A cruel fate sends them heavy experiences, and they are a victim.

Broaden your perspective to become more conscious

If you broaden your perspective, you can ask yourself this other question: “Why on earth did I get into this mess? How did I get there? What was I hoping to accomplish?”

Aren’t you coming out of desolation?

You haven’t found an answer to your question yet, but you’ve opened up to possibilities.

You are acting as a protagonist, and you are looking for solutions within yourself, and you see now a chance to become more conscious.

Not only that, but you made a choice, perhaps without realizing it, but you did. Why?

This question stimulates our curiosity and desire to know the answer, and we become our observer.

Now, opening a window into our inner world is the most interesting research work.

It is also the most important work because every new knowledge and awareness increases our inner wealth. Our emotions are part of this wealth — the only thing we will take with us. It is ours and nobody can steal it.

It looks so obvious! And it is simple and worthwhile.

Self-observation. Searching within ourselves to perceive our emotions.

We have so much resistance to self-observation, and to be sincere, even with friends — and with ourselves.

Why do so few people venture into it?

Why am I convinced that what happens to me depends entirely on external factors?

We think something compels us to suffer, and, over time, this becomes an emotional habit. No use trying to change at this point. Anyway, how many relationships have I experienced that have disappointed me? It’s fate, bad luck, jinx; a bit like playing cards: if you don’t get the right cards, what can you do about it?

It’s an uncomfortable habit that makes me sick.

Can I make it comfortable? If it’s not up to me to change things, I have an excuse to do nothing. It seems reasonable, but, in that case, I’m setting myself up to be a loser. Those who observe themselves realize this.

However, it is not enough to change something. The path of inner observation is long and difficult, but each step makes life easier. Our suffering becomes lighter, and we feel more free.

Inner observation is not an aspirin, nor is it a quick fix for all our emotional problems. But does such a fix exist?

Through introspection, we go to the source of the concern and analyze its many facets. This is the only way to solve it once and for all, and start a conscious life.

By observing ourselves, we go on a wonderful adventure to discover our emotions and who we really are.

Aurora Mazzoldi