I recently read some comment about one of my blogs where a reader said something to the effect of, “Oh, you want to talk on the issues of the day and the state of our world, and then take off your shirt? Seriously, dude?” Yes, seriously, dude. In fact, at this very moment I’m writing this blog completely nude. Uh huh. You see, taking off your clothes doesn’t really constrict the thought process. Judgment, fear, and ignorance do. Good night.
Now, an observation. On average I think we tend to respond to things out of reaction, instead of taking the time to digest whatever it is in front of us first, process it, and then come from a more insightful, calm place. Our reactive self seems to be driven by that “inner child” we’ve all heard about. The child that throws a fit when he/she feels that something isn’t going the way he/she wants it to. The problem is that when we don’t take care of that child and allow him/her to drive the response, we’re not coming from a place of reason.
I’ve also realized that the power that I give to reacting to something may be more than what the situation deserves. Meaning that it may be fueled by some unresolved issue from my past that made me feel the same way. A current situation or experience may trigger the feeling, but the strength behind it is a residual of baggage from my childhood that I haven’t fully worked out. I’m pretty good at managing the reactive part of myself, but I have my moments. It takes constant attention. It’s easy to go there and act out, but ultimately that gets us nowhere.
We live in a culture where reactiveness is entertaining. It’s glorified. You can make a lot of money and become a celebrity doing it! You know. The train wreck that we all love to see on every Housewives episode (take your pick). Ah, the drama of it all. It gets us in a lot of trouble, which is fun to watch, but when you’re in it in your life, it can keep you from getting what you want/need in the moment, and potentially help to create the very thing you fear. Not necessarily the best way to approach an uncomfortable feeling.
Try something new. Instead of responding immediately to a feeling that you’re having about a situation, talk that kid out of it and let it breathe for a minute. Know that you’ll get to it and assure the other person (or persons) involved that you will. When you are ready to talk, let them know (one of the nice meters to use is that your heart rate will drop once you’re out of the reactiveness you’re experiencing). Then revisit. See what you get! You want a different response from someone, give them a different response.