I’ve eaten a lot of toasted tomato and cheese sandwiches in my time. The old tomato and cheese toastie is my default lunch option. When my mind is distracted with what I’ve just been doing or what I’m about to do, I automatically make this choice and that’s okay. It’s not a bad lunch.
But how many other parts of my life are falling into the category of living from default that I’m not even aware of?
Yesterday, after running my morning healing dance class, my friend Sarah and I had a very pleasant sun-bathed hot chocolate together (she had a coffee). We love talking together about all things philosophical and spiritual and yesterday we got onto the topic of judgement and how we’d both like to live in far less judgement of those closest to us.
Isn’t it true that it’s easier to release feelings of judgement to complete strangers than it is towards our nearest and dearest?
And what’s even more ironic and adorable is that we can happily and sometimes with a tiny sprinkle of superiority, accuse others of being too judgemental, while viewing ourselves as completely judgement-free.
Here’s what I heard myself say while clutching my steaming mug against the cool breeze as it chilled the tip of my nose.
Confession part one: “I think I’m pretty good these days, I don’t really judge other people or criticise them.”
I’m surprised my nose didn’t grown a little in response to this blatant lie, because not ten minutes later, as Sarah dropped me back to my bicycle to ride home from the dance class venue, I found someone to judge. I spotted a mother driving out of the playgroup car park, presumably with one or two children in the back seat, holding her phone to her ear and talking and I couldn’t help myself. I said this:
Confession part two: “That’s right, talk on your phone while driving your car with your kids in the backseat”
I guess sarcasm has always come easily for me and making other people wrong as well. These are behavioural defaults for me and I don’t like them one little bit.
I’m letting myself off the hook though because at least I heard the laugh-out-loud hypocrisy of my action and I felt quite ashamed for a few moments. Then I let it go with a chuckle because hey, I’m human and hey, it’s my nature to be a rule follower and a community policewoman in my own imagination.
What this little moment showed me though, is that these default thoughts, beliefs and behaviours really do run our lives unless we develop a greater awareness about them and formulate a new vision for how we’d like to function in our lives.
Moving from living in automatic mode to living in aware mode is really important to me and I would say it’s my connection with my intuitive self that has made this progression easier. Being in contact with my inner knowing allows me to check in and be real with what I’m feeling, really hear what I say to others and hold myself accountable for my actions and words.
We don’t need to be overly harsh with ourselves though, that’s just turning the criticism and judgement within, which is no help at all. We can be aware and still kind and gentle on ourselves and know that like a little child, we all respond better to loving guidance than brutal disapproval.
If you would like some personal help with this sort of stuff, take a look here and contact me for a chat.