Saturday, September 05, 2009
Norah and the Watchers
Have you ever experienced the paranoia of “the watchers” – the fear that everyone is watching you or worse still that no one is? I spent years shedding the notion that people were observing me and expecting me to fail or not live up to their standards. I learned that often people really don't care what you're up to as long as you don't get in their way. However, being raised under a highly critical eye helped me become finely attuned to those times when the watchers do show up. It’s a blessing and a curse.
I can’t always name it, but I know when something's amiss. I begin to feel it in my gut. Sometimes it starts elsewhere – a prickle of the skin – a twinge of the heart. I know something is going on, but I can’t exactly put it in words. I want to shrug it off – to deny the watchers are there - to hope for the goodness of others and deny the potential overreaction of myself.
For Buffy fans, you know that Giles is her watcher. He is there for Buffy’s safety, mentoring and training. In many traditions, God is known as watcher and protector. It is comforting to know others are watching on our behalf. But what about the other watchers – those who watch through fear-clouded orbs instead of eyes of the heart? At times, I am guilty of this clouded vision. If an issue is someone else’s fault, then I am absolved. It is much easier to blame our problems on others than to take personal responsibility. It seems that those watching for evil in others will find what they are looking for. My hope is that by opening our eyes to goodness it will also be found.
From time to time, my fine attunement tells me the watchers are present. Will they seek goodness or evil? Responsibility or absolution? My hope is that each of us will seek and find the unwatched space where peace begins - beginning with ourselves and then sharing it with others.