Friday, December 12, 2008

React or Respond? 

To be reactionary is to meet life with fear.
Our tone of voice, our posture and our words belie our defensiveness and need to be right.
When we don’t trust, are afraid, feel unsafe or are just plain angry or hurt, we “react”.
Life invites us to choose our reaction or response and observe what happens.

Usually we are taught to let life lead us.
Let what other people do or say teach us how to react in like manner.
This is the learned and ineffective victimized approach, being “at the effect” of the world.
This is the way of fearful and defensive people.

Assess how often do you speak before you think?
How often do you meet anger with anger?
How often do you feel hurt and misunderstood?
How often do you justify and explain yourself?

When we leave a conversation or situation feeling disempowered or hurt, we have been reacting.
When we raise our voice, defend ourselves, justify our behavior or just get mad, we are reacting.
When we leave a conversation of situation feeling strong, happy and loving, we have been responding.
When we speak calmly, listen carefully and appreciate the other for sharing, we are responding.

To be responsive is to meet life with Love.
Our voice is calm, our posture open, and our words kind when we are able to respond with Love.
When we trust, are at peace and feel safe and loving, we can “respond”.
When we are response-able with our feelings and focus on our goal of Loving, we can respond.

Being mature in life is much about focusing on responding to others with the Best in mind.
Being an adult is really about taking good care of ourselves so we are able and willing to give.
Being a responsible person is being able to respond peacefully and kindly to all circumstances.
Being able to forgive when we take other’s pain personally is very grown up behavior.

When we are responding, we focus on how we can listen.
We focus on understanding.
We focus on being helpful.
We focus on giving.

When life is about meeting our own needs, (because we have not cared enough to meet them ourselves), set others up to serve us and fill us with what we want or expect.
“I gave to you, so why can’t you give to me?”
“I paid for this, so you owe me.”
“I am the important or needy one here, and I deserve your attention.”
“Look how much I have done for you. You are so ungrateful.”

When we feel sorry for ourselves,, we have not loved ourselves well.
When we are feeling hurt, we have made it up that others can and should take care of our feelings.
When we are lost in loneliness and feeling unappreciated, we have focused on not filling our own needs.
When we believe that loved ones are responsible for loving us well, we will get disappointed.
To be responsible is to take responsibility for filling our own needs.
To be able to respond is to be full of kindness, appreciation and happiness within ourselves.
To be willing to respond to others’ needs, we must have met our own responsibly.
To be the one who cares and dares to share, we must take impeccable care of our lives.

Take a break when you start reacting in an unloving and self-focused way.
Ask yourself, “How can I love myself and fill myself with Love right now?”
Appreciate your willingness to find a better way ,one that works for everyone.
Notice that you are willing to be the teacher of Love, rather than the demonstration of fear and anger.

This is Good.
Life is in our hands and in our hearts.
We can choose to be the Good we want to see.
We can and do make a difference each time we give what we want to receive.

Loving you everyday in every way I know,
Betty Lue