I’m currently working at a hospital. In one of the non-clinical offices – and don’t panic, you can’t get any more non-clinical than me so I’m in the absolute right place.
We have floor-to-ceiling windows that look onto the hospital itself and last week (maybe my third day in the job) I said to my colleagues “there’s a naked man in that window”. Because there was, he was putting on deodorant. Instantly there was a flurried response, but certainly not the one I had expected. After the entire office got up to verify, the general consensus was that this was scandalous. One colleague got out her blueprints of the hospital to see what the allocation of that room and then rang the facilities office to suggest that they hang blinds in that window for “patient dignity”. (The thing is, to me, he looked terribly healthy. Not unwell at all. In fact, quite rigourous.)
I had to tell them that this – though tremendously honourable – was not the reaction I was expecting and would not have been the reaction at almost every other office I have ever worked in.
“What would have been their reaction?”
“Within seconds we would have been looking for binoculars on eBay.”
No one laughed.
Now, I ‘m no expert but even I know that yoga and yoga-adjacent blogs are supposed to have some kind of profound lesson or enlightenment along the way. Otherwise what’s the point? Well, the point is just to be.
Actually, no, that’s not it, that might be another blog. Sorry, I’ll stop before I disappear up my own facetiousnarse.
The point is this. My colleagues’ reaction made me realise I was objectifying that man’s body in a way that I revile. If I was aware of someone doing that to me I would find it obscene. And then I realised that I objectify my own body. And that is equally obscene. I don’t feel the need to furnish you with details or examples of my inner monologue, you can take my word for it. It’s pretty grim. Perhaps you do it, too. I’m not sure how to stop but living the life I live it may well be impossible, we are formed by our peers and our environment waaaaaaaaaaaay more than we like to acknowledge. And here, clearly, I am speaking just for me and not the entire human race when I say “we” as that would be arrogant. But how else do you explain the cosmetic surgery epidemic? And all the really hideous tattoos?
I’m really pleased to have made this break through and to realise how fallible I am. And when I say realise, I mean be reminded. And when I say pleased, I mean chuffing heck one more thing to work on. And when I say one more thing to work on, I mean please stop.
In a few days I will be blogging about how I use humour to shield myself from myself and from the work I neeed to be doing on my enlightenment and realisation. And when I say enlightenment and realisation, I mean enlightenment and realisation.