I have been travelling in the USA over the past week on my way to my high school reunion in Springfield, Vermont. Since I arrived I’ve been very conscious of some differences in perspectives and approaches around me. Two examples are the arrivals and security processes at airports and the strength of opinions that exist around ‘news’ (fake or otherwise) – including bumper stickers that say “I don’t believe in the liberal media”.
Maintaining and appreciating multiple perspectives and not simply ‘reacting’ to this has been top of mind for me. I have been very conscious of bringing my ‘inner observer’ into these situations in order to notice the ways in which I am responding and how others are seeing me.
It is very difficult to change behaviours and the way you interact with others unless you are able to assess your existing behaviours and interactions. People who are emotionally healthy are conscious of themselves – their thoughts, their emotions and their behaviours – and the impact of these on others. They are able to recognise and overcome the various influences and constraints they experience (either from others or themselves) through the choices they make and the practices they use.
They achieve this by being able to ‘switch on’ their inner observer. In the language of the line of choice, using their inner observer enables them to choose above-the-line responses to situations.