Finding Empowerment, When you want to be Responsive vs. Reactive
Hi Everyone! How are you doing?
I love to find quotes and articles on Facebook to discuss. It makes it so much more interesting, kind of like a mini book club. :) If you want to join the conversation, click here to join the Facebook group. :)
Below is the quote I wanted to share with you today because there's so much more to say about it!
(Thank you so much for reading and sharing this blog! I'm so grateful for you! And.. thank you Reggie Zerkle if you're reading this for sharing this. It's been fun to think about.)
I think most of us already know we need to be responsive rather than reactive? It makes perfect sense right?
I'm pretty sure no one wants to over react or yell, specifically when it’s our children or loved ones at stake. Yet sometimes we just do. Let's face it, in the heat of the moment it can feel next to impossible not to!
Isn’t it the worst when you know your kids or someone else is hurting, probably just having a bad day, yet still we may find ourselves over reacting, taking things personal, or just simply unable to connect?
It’s not that we don’t want to! It’s not that we don’t know the information.
The truth is, our souls are constantly pushing us to respond and connect so when we don’t, it hurts! We literally ache with regret.
So what is it that keeps us reacting vs responding in difficult moments?
I'll tell you what it's not:
- It's not that you're a crazy mean person who just can't control themselves. (I mention this because I used to think I was just an awful person who couldn't get myself together like everyone else. Talk about a miserable feeling!)
- It's not that you don't have enough will power to stay patient.
- It doesn't mean you aren't loving.
- It's not even about cultivating patience and will-power! (If it was, I'd be a master at this because I tried that for years spending countless hours praying for more patience.)
It's actually much more simple and solve-able!
When you learn how to understand and heal what's really going on, you can be responsive and loving with almost no effort even when someone is being difficult!
So what is it that keeps us being re-active vs. responsive?
It's our own unresolved pain, deep frustrations, and fears.
When we’re swimming in our own yuck, it's awful. No matter how much we want to connect, when we're dealing with our own pain, we just can’t.
We can’t until we re-connect with ourselves and work through our own pain.
The truth is, we just don't have the power to really be connective and responsive until we learn how to practice self-care at this level.
When we're feeling calm and on top of ourselves we are able to respond to difficult situations and connect with others even when they're hurting and upset.
I wanted to share this because not understanding this kept me constantly beating myself up and feeling awful.
I would have a blow up with one of my teenage kids and then berate myself for being re-active rather than responsive. I would hurt so much I could hardly sleep at night wishing I could be a better mom, a more effective parent.
I'm relieved to have finally figured out the truth after all this time and suffering!
We can't genuinely respond and connect from the heart until we have taken care of our own pain.
For me, I was feeling terrified and needing my teenage boys to be in a safe environment and feeling powerless to control that. So of course I was being reactive and a little bit hysterical.
Once I was able to re-connect with me and validate and resolve my own inner pain, I could see the situation more clearly. We were able to find solutions together that worked for everyone rather than me trying to police what seemed like an impossible situation.
So if you’ve been re-active rather than responsive, please go easy on yourself. There’s so much more to learn. This year we’re going to focus on building self-confidence and learning self-care. I'm so excited! I have some really fun stuff coming up. So stay tuned. :)
But for now, if you're facing a tough moment that brings out "re-activeness" and your less than attractive qualities, here are a few ideas that will help you start taking care of you. :)
If you're feeling reactive about a certain situation try using the following protocol to re-connect with you:
1. Take a quiet moment and ask yourself the following question:
"In the moment I did what I did that seemed re-active, what was I feeling and needing?
Examples: I was feeling scared. I was needing to feel safe and supported.
I was feeling hurt, I was needing to be understood and heard.
I was feeling overwhelmed, I was needing rest and support.
2. Calm things down by activating the heart energy center. Just place your fist on the center of your chest and rub in clockwise circles while repeating the following statements:
3. Once you feel calmer, try to think of the other person involved. When they said or did what they did, what might they have been feeling and needing?
Example: Someone says, "You never listen! It always has to be your way!"
Maybe they're feeling deep despair and they're needing to be valued and heard? Maybe they're feeling frustrated because they're needing choice and equality?
Even if you don't really know, just thinking about another person this way helps you to forgive, see things from a more compassionate viewpoint, and helps you to see things more objectively. It's a concrete way to step back and not take another persons comments and behavior personally.
When we take things personally, it can make it almost impossible to respond rather than react.
If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it. :) Thanks for your support!