One day I was at the grocery store in the section that features pastries you buy in small quantities. I noticed a woman getting a box of small cookies and for every two that went in the container for checkout, another one went into her mouth. While I’m sure that grocery stores have a shrinkage allowance to cover the cost of these actions, I found it a surprising behavior. I had also seen a similar behavior but with a slightly different edge a few weeks prior, when a young child put his hand in an open bin of candy. The mother’s reaction was along the lines of, “I can let you have one piece to eat before checkout”. My immediate reaction arose from a hint of “Jersey sarcasm”, (i.e. I didn’t know it was her candy to give away), and included a decision not to buy from those candy bins.
As I pondered those two experiences further, I found myself a bit angry. Using practices learned in my various transformational studies, I opted to become curious about what this reaction might reflect in me. First I asked myself, “What did this type of behavior represent?”. My answers included rude, inconsiderate, entitled, and even disgusting (for the hand in the candy bin).
Are there any other reactions you might have if you encountered similar behavior? Perhaps it doesn’t bother you, or you don’t notice it happening.
I sat with the aspects of rude, inconsiderate, entitled, and disgusting, and worked with each to determine if they were general triggers for me, or if they might represent “disowned aspects” of myself. Then I shifted the question slightly.
Looking at some of these qualities I asked myself, “In what ways am I inconsiderate of myself or rude to myself?” What presented itself is how in one area of my life (health), I have been less than considerate of myself. My recent indulgence in sweets is a way in which I am less than considerate of myself when I look at how it impacts my overall quality of life. When I don’t listen to the part of me that says “STOP”, I am being rude to myself. Thinking of the part that says, “I want what I want when I want it”, highlighted where I might be feeling entitled. The fact that chocolate was adding to my weight was making me feel disgusting and disgusted with myself.
Even with that exploration, I still saw people eating products before checkout, or children putting their hands in bins. I continued to dig deeper, and was able to find my hidden craving/trigger and use that awareness to then choose to turn off the switch, which then released my “self-inconsiderate” behavior. Interestingly enough, I have not seen that type of behavior in stores since.
What patterns of behavior do you see reflected in your environment that may be calling for your attention? Does anyone act in a way that makes you angry, resentful, or righteous? If you answered yes to either of these questions, my foundational coaching programs could be a good opportunity to shine the line on what is underneath (https://systemsofchange.com/home/for-individuals/foundation-coaching/).
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