Saturday, January 28, 2012

Reacting verses responding

What is the difference between reacting and responding ? Well simply put reacting is uncontrolled and responding is controlled. When one is responding they are in control of their actions words and emotions. They think before they do. They are conscious of what is going on around them. Not only what is going on but why it is going on. They see the bigger picture, they know there is always something bigger going on and even when caught off guard they still try to respond in a compassionate and responsible manner, whether comfortable or not.

Reacting is done out of habit, it is acting in a way that is automatic to them. A behavior that is learned along the way. Reacting is doing without thinking and it is usually why, many of us feel hurt or guilty in the aftermath of a heated argument or conversation or if some one has done something to hurt or defy us. Reacting is unconscious actions. It is automatic and a challenging habit to break. But a habit worth breaking !

If you can see from the perspective that the universe is always giving us opportunities to try and improve ourselves and learn to come from the position of compassion and unconditional love, that you will see only opportunity when confronted with a frustrating experience. You can then begin to train yourself to consciously decide to try and respond in a more loving compassionate manner. As you begin to practice responding rather than reacting and get better at it, you may find every so often an extremely challenging and frustrating situation will come up and it will be your choice to hold onto conscious responding or revert to unconscious reacting.

Unconscious reacting usually involves things such as yelling, screaming, crying, name calling, swearing, hitting, over powering, belittling, or with drawling from interaction. None of these create a peaceful loving environment and almost always leaves one or more feeling hurt in some way.

Everybody seeks validation and understanding and when it is given and received in situations, situations seem to become softer and this takes conscious effort a lot of the time. Reacting is the old way of doing things. Responding is the new, it is done from a place of love and understanding, it teaches others and  it feels really good knowing you tried to respond consciously to best of your ability.