Respond vs React
I love my kids. However, I don’t always enjoy the lessons they teach me. Here is one of the more recent teaching events that I’ve been challenged on.
I arrived home, to my not-very-content Wife, and was informed of the activities of our 3 year old son. It started with him getting a pair of scissors and making confetti out of a library book. In addition, he practiced art on the walls (lots of walls) and then later tested Mom’s patience by climbing on the back of the couch which caused the back cushion to rip off.
I was not impressed to say the least and I think I made that pretty clear by my reaction.
In hindsight here is what I noticed. I reacted to the situation straight off without giving it any thought. It was as if I went into auto pilot, like some past thought program was set into motion and I reacted from it. Now this wouldn’t be a problem if this past default program was one that was beneficial to all involved; however, based on results it wasn’t.
There are times when I catch myself before I go into auto pilot. I’m then able to stop and process the situation. This allows me to respond to the circumstances rather than react. I make a conscious decision in the moment rather than using an old program out of the subconscious.
I am continually getting to practice my awareness around my auto pilot reactions. Whenever I see the library book, inked walls or the ripped couch; I get to choose whether I am going to drive where my thoughts go or let auto pilot take over. Or in others words, am I going to respond or react to it.
It is the challenging situations in our lives that can expose the subconscious programs. Our auto pilot. So with every challange lies an opportunity to grow. Life is a journey, so keep learning and enjoy the adventure.