I was sitting with 4-5 of my teammates, I can’t really remember what we were talking about but I know that it was based around talking about another person…
Our freedom of speech is really important to us right? Being able to express our own opinion or views to another. I’m going to talk to you about another type of freedom from speech. The actual freedom of not having to say something, to consciously or unconsciously boost your own ego. For example feeling right, being better than someone, being more righteous than someone… Criticism, complaining are two of the main culprits…
Realisation in Cyprus
Around 10 years ago I was racing for the Army and we had travelled to Cyprus on a 2 week warm weather training camp. Usually after a brutal day of training in the scorching sun we would have down time, relaxing, eating, replenishing and in this circumstance gossiping…
This was a realisation that has stuck with me since, hence the post. You know those events in your life that there is a deeper meaning too?
Here’s one of them. I was sitting with 4-5 of my teammates, I can’t really remember what we were talking about but I know that it was based around talking about another person. We were all laughing, inflating our own little egos when I realised there was one lad sitting there and wasn’t saying a thing, just observing. He was watching from the outside in. In a metaphorical sense it made me step outside of myself and gain a different perspective. I thought immediately, what am I doing here. I felt ashamed. A deeper knowing that this just didn’t feel good flooded through my body. I just had to get up and leave.
The Good Guys Win
From that point on I refused to engage in any gossip. Funnily enough those connections dropped away as I aligned with a truer part of myself. And you know the funny thing? That guy sitting on the outside doing his own thing became the Army Triathlon Champion… He probably focussed on himself rather than what others were doing. He had freedom from speech and I now from this experience so do I.
What is freedom from speech though?
This isn’t just about talking about another. It’s about criticising, complaining about other people or external circumstances, no matter what. This is disempowerment from the outside in. As you are not taking responsibility for your response to a specific external circumstance. Instead of asking yourself this question…
Why is this creating a reaction in me?
At this point you have 3 options. Look at it, deal with it, leave it or all 3.
- Look at it – Rather than thinking what did that person or circumstance do to me. Look into yourself. Take responsibility. Why is this creating a strong emotion? (this is whole other post)
- Deal with it – Talk with the person involved or remove yourself. And when I mean talk WITH, I don’t mean talk AT in attack mode. Step away from your own pain and try to ask calm non aggressive questions, to take the lead…
- Leave it – Physically or mentally. You either leave the circumstance or distance from this person, which can give you the time to process and gain perspective. Or if you have done one of the above let it go, leave it mentally. It’s done.
Warning – Complaining and criticising in a venting nature are negative actions. You might feel better doing it, but actually you are unconscious ego building. Try to spot when you complain or criticise another or a situation during today. This is self-development and creating emotional intelligence.
If you enjoyed this post give this one a go – ‘Are you an Addict’
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