When you try to understand something, it’s often most effective to set aside your preconceptions and observe it quietly so that the object of your examination reveals what needs to be understood. Instead of diving into the muddy water of your emotion as a way to conquer it, you should observe it from the outside and let it settle down and transform on its own. As the spiritual teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti said, pure attention without judgment is not only the highest form of human intelligence, but also the expression of love. Observe the changing energy both attentively and lovingly as it unfolds in the space of your mind.
One can imagine someone wondering, “What is so great about just observing? Isn’t it avoiding reality?” The answer is quite the opposite: You are not avoiding it; you are actually staring straight into it. Rather than getting caught in the emotion without any self-awareness, you are inquiring and then feeling what is there. As you get better at it, you will realize that the negative emotion is not a fixed reality. It naturally emerges and retreats within the space of your awareness, regardless of your will. Once you awaken to this truth, you will not be swayed by negative emotions and can regard them as a passing cloud instead of identifying with them as a defining part of your self. Do not fight your negative emotions. Observe and befriend them.
Excerpt From: Haemin Sunim. “The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to Be Calm and Mindful in a Fast-Paced World”.