Part 1. – Mr egoic mind left unmanaged and roaming free in the real world.
The aim here is to become less judgemental and more accepting of others freedom. Once again, I will use gym rat Adam and my personal shadow as an example.
I will first attempt TONGUE FIRMLY IN CHEEK to justify my behaviour when there can be no justification for behaving badly and it is for my own personal satisfaction that I wish to change to behaviour that serves me better.
I have worked out seriously and followed a good nutritional protocol for well over 40 years.
When I commit to something I commit fully, some would say obsessively. My philosophy for life is to learn voraciously and to keep an open mind. I consider most issues in this world are due to closed minds and an us and them mentality that humans do not seem to be able to tame. When both opposites of any dispute have a place in the solution. Back to my justification.
I have several health and fitness related diplomas and qualifications and a first-class honours degree in sports studies. However, I consider my auto-didactic nature and my experimental research on my body and mind to be the most valuable qualification I possess. No person can gain that except me. It is literally priceless and continues to become more advanced with the passing of time and yet more valuable lessons (Could it be I am a know it all?).
I even view my introverted, sensitive nature to be superior when it comes to details and organisation. I spend most of my time reading, thinking, feeling and experimenting in the pursuit of developing myself to the maximum possible in this lifetime.
The picture here is of me with my shirt off posing at the gym. A behaviour that I would judge harshly in others.
My vast experience and “I really do know it all” attitude leaves me critical of others, even qualified others training form and nutritional habits and to make things worse I feel that my generation were far more aware of basic manners and behavioural niceties than I witness in gyms and in society today. I abhor the basic lack of manners and poor behaviour that I witness all around me. I will keep this example gym related but the gym as I see it is a reflection on issues that we have in society in general. I don’t aim to look back on the good old days, but I do consider certain behaviours have eroded to the detriment of humanity.
Mobile phones and headphones do not help when allowed in an environment where it is better to have lines of personal communication face to face optimal. I feel the gym is full of detached gormless cyborgs that are getting nowhere and are stunting the development of not only themselves but the potential of positive interactions with others with a common cause. An environment where a selfish attitude reigns.
Dirty inappropriate clothing worn. Just walk in off the street. Hoods up. Boots filthy. Equipment abused and left all over the floor. Exercises unrecognisable from the way they are supposed to be performed and a total disregard for other gym users. I do know that ignorance is the main reason for this as no gym inductions are given at this gym and there is rarely any staff to correct form or encourage better gym etiquette. But, a little common sense or care would help. There is very little of either. As most are zoned out with headphones or distracted with their damn phones.
From the constant disarray and lack of obvious humanity one could be excused for thinking there had been a nuclear explosion in the gym. And the zombie people eaters had taken over. Sitcom and stand-up comedy writers could have a field day creating entertainment from this environment. But for me it is not funny and a symptom of many issues that are plaguing humanity today.
- Are human beings changing?
- Are values changing from human values to material values?
- Are we becoming less or more because of this?
- Finally, do we somehow need to find the Goldilocks (just right) behaviour (flexarian attitude) to save humanity as we know it?
- Therefore – Is the devil in the details?
Okay! As you can see from this rant all of this leaves me judgemental. I am not obvious to others by my attitude, but I am ready to defend these values at the drop of a hat and when I do I can see that the others are total bemused and don’t get why I am so pissed at them. My feelings are deeply subconscious, and I have little control over my reactions unless I can change my deepest core beliefs. These are reflected in my behaviour but not by my conscious words and actions. And often may seem contradictory. None of us know our subconscious very well at all and it is only by critically observing our own behaviour that we may have an opportunity to change it.
I am always ready to help anyone that needs it and reaches out but sadly gyms are full of ignorant psycho- know it all types and they are oblivious to any humility and that they may be wrong. Oops! More judging. As you can tell I am passionate about what I do.
I am Mr Grumpy – and I am not alone, many other gym members are fed up with the mess left by whoever!
PART 2. – Okay! What is going on with me?
Now it is time to critically observe myself and my judgemental attitude. The aim being to find a place of acceptance that is just right and more befitting my health and well-being. A place of letting go of stuff I can’t affect.
In psychology there is a school of thought that believes the things that irritate us the most are showing us a denied aspect of our personality and by recognising and facing this shadow within ourselves the solution is to be discovered. Others are mirrors, showing us our hidden aspects both good and bad. My gym, tormentors are showing me what I need to learn and those I respect are revealing qualities in myself that I have to this point failed to acknowledge.
This makes things very interesting and empowers me. It now becomes myself I need to judge less and myself I must learn to accept. I can now reflect on the situations and look for the solution in myself as the perceiver. It would seem my habit of judging others has come down to a low self-esteem issue. This is great news as I can work on myself but having to change others would be an impossible task. The key to my acceptance is to see my own behaviour in some way in the behaviour of others. This also includes those I respect and judge in a positive manner. This is much more practical from the point of view of being able to act for improvement. And makes acceptance far more likely. I coined a phrase a while back that fits this exact situation for both good and bad judgements. It had slipped my mind and sitting here at 5 am on a wintery Sunday morning it has re-entered my conscious mind from the depths.
“All that I see is contained within me”.
That’s it. I will use it as the title of this narrative when I blog. And more importantly keep it in my thoughts and apply it to real-life situations with a wry smile and a shrug when I catch myself in a full scale negative and destructive judgement assault on others. Situations are how we perceive them to be. If we don’t like the way something is then we can look at it in a different and more personal way. Realising I am in some way judging myself or at least being affected by something for personal reasons. I am judging myself in the mirror of them. We do seem to like creating our us and them scenarios when we are always right, and they are always wrong. We know that is total bull-shit. Even if we need constant reminders to find the sweet spot between judging and acceptance.