Believe it or not, we make many more choices all the time than we are aware of. In almost every moment there is a choice being made and that choice is a simple one … am I going to respond to this situation before me or am I going to react to this situation before me?
The answer is either one of the two, never in between because whether we may like to believe it or not, we can never sit on the fence in life. Even saying nothing or withdrawing is a reaction or response to the situation even though we are not outwardly expressing something.
There is obviously a very crucial understanding of these two words and their exact meaning and stark differences that is needed before we can truly be more in tune and understanding of our own and another’s behaviours and patterns and ways of expressing through life.
Life happens. It can present challenges and difficulties we may not like and it can present lessons for us to learn and be aware of. It is like this every single day on this Earth and no day is ever the same even though we may go about doing the same old same old.
And so, we make this daily choice moment to moment … what exactly are we choosing?
- To Respond to a situation means to simply observe it and see it for what it is, regardless of its outplay and end result. It means to not be invested in a particular outcome and to remain aware of the body and how it is experiencing life during each situation. Even when the situation is not what we like, we can still respond to it without getting pulled into it. There is a deep level of honesty required when we respond as it is naturally asking us to be truth-full with what is going on.
- To React is simply to see the situation from our own perspective and what it means for ourselves or a small group but not see and observe it for what it is. In this case we are not with our body and aware of how it is experiencing life and we are giving more value to an investment in a particular outcome than we are to the quality of how we are within ourselves. We are not choosing to be honest and truth-full both with how we feel and what is truly going on.
In response there is no emotion, as when we display an emotion we are in reaction to the situation.
I have found that often when we react the choice is immediate. It can be as simple as feeling something I don’t like to feel and reaching for the cookie jar. When we respond I have found that there awareness of the choice being made and we can feel more in the body in the moment with it. Such as feeling someone is displaying anger towards you and then feeling to respectfully ask them to quieten down and not speak to you in that way as it is not respectful of you or of them.
I had a moment this morning when I was not wanting to feel how much I wanted to spend the day with my wife especially because it is super warm and sunny outside but could not as she was at work. I instantly went to the fridge and had some leftovers from the previous night to dull me down so I did not feel this any more. This is an example of reaction.
The lesson being learnt is that there are two ways to deal with life and the situations it presents us with, which is an understanding shown to us by The I Choose Chart. Choosing to be with level blue is simply a way of being more with ourselves and our body and in that naturally being less reactive and more responsive to life, without perfection of course.
When we choose to go to level red we will choose to be more away from ourselves and our body and hence be inclined to be more reactive to life and less responsive.
To enjoy life is to re-learn to be ourselves. Remember, regardless of our daily quality of choices we are always amazing beautiful beings and this is never going to change, it is simply something we are all re-learning to let out into our lives once again.