The Merits of Not Reacting

Some people have the ability to pull you outside of yourself. Reacting to them often comes at a cost. Learning to take a step back is part of your journey. Some call it self-mastery, surrender of the illusion of control, it’s all essentially the same.

Sometimes reacting is delayed. Do you replay conversations in your head? Add onto a conversation by expounding your point of view? Or even prepare a conversation/argument for a future encounter? People spend more time reacting to conversations they’ve started in their heads, loaded with bias, than connecting with another human being. Conversations, ideally, allow two people to share and exchange information or feelings. Then during the course of conversation, they arrive at some understanding or solution. Understanding or solutions don’t usually come from assuming someone’s motivation, or what someone else thinks/feels.

It’s difficult to not get caught in someone’s fast moving stream. It’s a practice to remain objective and respond from the place where truth lives. To settle a matter from love.

There’s the part of you that has been running the show probably your whole life. It steps forward automatically to engage. What if you remembered to pause. Re-center by breathing and shifting to your heart. Not giving into the façade most conversations present on the surface. Your higher self knows that often, what initially is being discussed isn’t the whole story. That fear is lurking nearby. And fear causes division of even the truest love. Your taking that step back to observe is the most loving thing you can do for yourself and whoever you’re speaking with.

Think of it as having two selves living in a shop with a glass storefront. One of you minds the shop by interacting with all visitors. When it comes to it, that person does battle by throwing stones at others’ glass to survive. Meanwhile, your higher self is hiding deep inside the building on another floor. I think it’s rare that people allow other people to get next to the higher self where you’re the most vulnerable, where you dream, hope, and live fully. Also, on the first floor, in a room nearby, is where your pain, suffering, and fear live. The you guarding the door has easy access to your supply of pain, suffering, and fear, which some visitors may get a portion, or a whole serving of, depending.

You can do your best to address that supply of pain, suffering, and fear. Taking time to sit with it, attend to those emotions, and put some new practices in place. And work on having easier access to your vulnerability, dreams, hopes, and the pulse of life you have in you. In an ideal world, the two you’s merge, and you’re able to protect and share from the same body.

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