The Watcher, the Witness, the Higher Self, the one that observes: the things we do, the way we think, our feelings and the patterns we create, seek and perpetuate. This higher part of self is dispassionate and removed. It's quality is often more distant than anything else…not cold but somehow also not really involved in the life drama. It often seems (to me at least) that it isn’t really even curious about what I (the part of me I call I, of which the Watcher is most certainly a part) am doing. It just watches without judgement or criticism, without encouragement or dissuasion, without engagement or emotional connection. It sometimes seems to be the part of self that has no opinion about self…just there, watching eternally, patient and calm. It is almost as though this part of self is destined to watch our life together as if it was a movie.
I find this presence comforting, like an old friend--a large warm rock on a well loved beach where I can rest. I feel at times as though it’s presence can calm me when other parts of self want to lead me to places within my psyche that are raw and painful to visit. The Watcher counters the brutal parts of self that want to convince me that I am somehow not good enough, unlovable and even, in times past, an abomination. The beastly part of my mind that forgives me not one single infraction and remembers everything I have ever done that is “wrong”. The Watcher watches this torturous process, is there with me and in its own way, offers compassion through its calm and steady presence. It never turns away, never agrees with my tormentors, and never expresses impatience when I travel down the roads I have been before. It does not judge when I do make poor choices (as every human does) that lead to uncomfortable consequences. The Watcher stays there with me through it all, like a wise and committed friend.
Sometimes I use the Watcher’s presence to pull myself out of whatever pit I have been wallowing in. I remember all I have learned on this journey: that I can stop thinking too and just watch for a time. I can wait with the Watcher to see what will come next? When I remember I can do this, it helps. I remember that I am not my thought. I remind myself that feelings flow and change and it is ok to sit with them and be curious about them. I recall what the experience of distance from “myself” feels like. When I do this I can take comfort there and feel a blessed reprieve. The Watcher and I sit side by side in companionate silence and understanding; a loving connection. I remember what huge growth it is to allow self and the processes of self to be, without running away from, denying the existence of or judging the process. When I do this, I begin to feel better and more able to work through the demons of the past a little bit farther than I did the time before. And this is how I KNOW for sure I am getting better.