When Step 30. Today will observe my world asks me to observe my world, observe my world without judgment and observe what I am doing in the world without judgment, I cannot help but feel the enormity of this task and want to break it down into more manageable chunks.
I wrote in my notes for this Step: “Observing my world without judgment – this is a worthy practice and I am committing myself to it to the best of my ability.” This may seem like an exemplary approach, but easier said than done. My notes go on to say that I find observing what I will call the larger world without judgment easier than observing my immediate world without judgment.
In the larger world, I look for beauty, I look for things that please the eye. Today I took delight in seeing the morning sun shine through the new birch leaves as I took a walk in the woods. They were like dancing emeralds glistening in the sunlight. I took delight in breathing in fresh air and was glad to see the park attendants gathering up the garbage. People make a mess, others tidy it up. I pick up other people’s garbage too when I see it and there is a garbage can on my way. It is hard not to judge others for the mess they make, especially when the mess is an eyesore in an otherwise lovely landscape. I pray for others to become more aware and more solicitous of the world they live in. In the larger world, I can observe with as little judgment as possible and move on.
In my immediate world, however, it is harder to observe without judgment. My daily tasks, the people I live with, the situations I encounter often cannot be observed without my judgment. I find judgment creeps in whether I want it to or not. The narrower my world, the harder it is to be non-judgmental.
I will observe my world today
However, I understand from Step 30 that I am not to judge myself for this judgment. I am merely to observe what I am doing, take stock, and move on.
Nevertheless, I get the feeling that this task of observing without judgment requires a lot more than I am putting into it. I get the feeling that judgment is so ingrained in the human psyche that it is going to take quite a lot of diligent work to free myself from its clutches.
Step 30 ends with:
Do not think that you have seen the world the way it really is, for what you have seen is your judgment upon the world. The world you will see without judgment is a different world than you have ever seen before.
Practicing this step gives me a preview, however. When I observe my world today, I see a world doing its own thing as best it can under the circumstances. How can I judge a world like this? It would be like judging a new-born infant for being unable to walk.
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