Philosophy on reactions (and a bit of a purge)

It’s natural to react to things. Everything actually. An action occurs. And we have a reaction. I’m speaking both in physical and emotional terms. We trip and stub our toe. Ow. Someone upsets us…. Well that’s where this subject gets interesting. It’s how we react that has a huge impact on both us and those around us. Is reaction a choice or a reflex?
I’m a highly reactive person, both in my body and my soul. I’m sensitive. Growing up I would find that I was very easily upset by others’ actions and would therefore have extreme reactions. Funnily enough, for a time I actually classified myself as an extremist. I am only now linking the two as I write. However in recent years through my own journey of life, finding calm and my own personal centre, I have been teaching myself what I believe is an important lesson: ‘you can’t innately change anybody or their actions, only the way you react to them’.
This new found understanding has begun to bring me a fresh perspective on interpersonal relationships: the art of giving, receiving and adjusting our expectations of others. It has also taught me that it is not within my bounds to change others, nor is it within others’ to change me.
Of course there are times where I still struggle with this concept, however it has somewhat freed me from past feelings of injustice, inequality or dare I say even hurt or rage within relationships. It sounds wonderful to be able to stop the flow of inner-ache by saying to yourself: ‘wait – I don’t need to be expending this energy. It’s not actually helping anyone, especially me. Time to move on.’ I’m certainly not saying I’m immune to cruelty, callousness or even a mere back-handed compliment. The opposite in fact. I’m still the sensitive soul I always was, however this idea, or philosophy if you will, is helping me survive in a less sponge-like state – stronger, more understanding that my reactions are my own and I am responsible for them.
I would like to admit that I do occasionally flyoffthefreakinghandlewhenIampushedtomylimitsandmysenseofclarityisshottobits.
This happened today and I have been stuck in a funk all day which has inspired me to write. It also brings about the point that sometimes you do really need to feel your emotions deeply to process them and move on. (A little contradictory to my entire post, however nothing in life is black and white.) A good short wallow never hurt anyone. Especially when tea and comfort food are involved.
However having had a good day to process my thoughts and now write to you my dear readers, I am now back to my efforts to put the actions of others aside and take control of my reaction (albeit a little later than usual). Why waste time being anything but happy and enjoying my beautiful daughter and incredible husband on this snuggly Sunday? No reason I can think of.

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