What are we beyond our reactions? That is a question I asked my dad recently; also asked it to my best friend when we were talking about reactions/responding. Have you ever thought about this? If not then think about what our reactions say about us. Think about how our reactions affect others. Think about how our reactions affect us. Think about what the purpose of reactions are, and what they are designed to do. What do we gain with reactions? What do we lose with reactions? What are we accomplishing with reactions?
I’ve spent a lifetime surrounded by reactions, as it was a normal part of my childhood and into my adulthood. Something happens, someone reacts. It could be a reacted distortion of the face, a gritted mouth, pursed/angry lips, a frown, a tight, pinched brow, or glaring eyes. It could be this unspoken energy that you just feel but can’t see. Or it could be a barrage of voluminous display of words. It could be a yelling of those words. Or it could be body language that says what the words aren’t saying. It could be someone making me feel guilty for doing or saying whatever it is I had done/said. It could be me making someone feel guilty for the same thing. It could be reaction out of insecurity. It could be a reaction of inferiority. It could be a reaction out of fear. It could be a reaction out of jealousy. It could be a reaction out of being scared. It could be a reaction of pain. It could be reaction of sorrow. It could be a reaction of disbelief. It could be a reaction of disappointment. It could be a reaction of silence. It could be a reaction to cause me embarrassment. It could be a reaction to cause another embarrassment. It could be a reaction when someone cuts you off on the road. It could be a reaction out of stupidity. It could be reaction out of superiority. It could a reaction out of self-protection. It could be a physical contact reaction. And of course it could be a reaction of exquisite joy or happiness. All of these reactions that I’ve been exposed to, I have, unfortunately, exposed others to (except for physical contact reaction). All of these, with the exception of reactions of joy and happiness and surprise, I am not proud of.
Of course not all reactions are bad. Some reactions are good — probably even essential. Those reactions out of love; or those reactions out of helping someone in the moment; or those reactions out of humanitarianism; or those reactions out of humor, causing laughter; or those reactions out of self-defense or the protection of others; or those reactions out of love — Well they are the things that make life so fulfilling.
Back in February 2017 I wrote, “You can’t always judge truth by reactions”, and that still holds true today. Behind every reaction, in the moment, is permission we give ourselves to not look into another method of providing the situation with different information about what our truth its behind the reaction. In other words, it is easier to go on autopilot than it is to change behaviors or chose methods of being and living.
I’ve decided that I’m much more than my reactions. A whole lot more than them. I’m a good human. I’m a good friend. I’m a fantastic soul partner. I’m a good human connection contributor. I’m compassionate. I’m enthusiastic. I’m passionate. I’m caring. I’m loving. I’m truthful. I’m forgiving. I’m empathetic. I’m understanding. I’m energetic. Animals like me (and I like them). I’m funny. I’m fun. I’m carefree (not all the time though). I’m interested in growth. I’m simple. I’m complicated sometimes. I have my moments of complication. I’m easy going most of the time. I’m discrete. I’m respectable. I respect privacy. I’m a friend. I’m friendly. I’m sensitive. I’m a son. I’m a brother. I’m a musician. I’m generally peaceful. I’m grateful. I’m polite. I’m decent. I’m trusting. I’m trustworthy. I’m honorable. I’m dependable. I’m strong. I’m weak in some areas. I’m creative.
You see I’m much more than my reactions, and you are too..and that is something I can react to!
Joe Tesoro, Jr. 10/30/17