Having The Right to React?

Be honest – who would not be adamant that reacting is a right in certain situations?

I certainly have reacted – and still do sometimes – in situations that don´t turn out like I want them to be, or when someone behaves in a way that is just simply disturbing to me, is unacceptable, or triggers a side in me that I still don´t like and need to work on. I have learned in the past that whenever I start saying to someone, “Because of you…,” I am out of order and in my usual blaming mode.

I have to admit, blaming was my best buddy in life and I became quite smart with it. To have mastered a way to blame the outside world is nothing I am proud of: the only thing that it shows is how much I have avoided taking responsibility for my actions and choices.

Actually, it is simply a trick to avoid evolving. When I found the reason to blame the other person I had found the justification I needed for my reaction. I was pointing the finger at the outside world instead of looking at why this was happening to me and looking at my own contributing behaviour.

A few months ago, I joined a group swimming session organised with a Universal Medicine practitioner during which the blindfold was lifted from my eyes as to how I involve others in my life to give me the excuse to react and not stay in my power. The practitioner asked me how I felt after completing the task she had set during the session, but in my answer I was not allowed to refer to anyone else in the group, especially if I felt to use them as an excuse for my performance. That was super hard as in the group environment I had not been able to swim with ease. The first thing I would normally do would be to talk about the others… who were either in my way or had disturbed me. So I had the chance to feel even more precisely how much I blame the world, using others as an excuse to not be ME.

Since then I have tried a different way in how I communicate my feelings and have reflected on my choices first, before observing what the other person did ‘wrong.’

Going into ‘right and wrong’ in any way is simply delaying reading the truth of the situation. It is a competition with a loser at the end, but does it truly help to take in all there is to learn from it?

I have been observing myself very closely and experiencing a lot of shifts in my way of responding to life and certain challenging situations it presents. I can still feel how often during a day I do in fact react – not in the way of blaming so much anymore but just slightly, not loudly… although just one percent judgement in a statement can cause a disturbance in the other person, as everyone feels everything. I feel it is my responsibility to work on this as I do not want to judge others.

I have found blaming gets you involved in arguments as well and in the end, it becomes not about the actual incident but about who is right and who is wrong. This is a trap, a silly game to play, as there is no right or wrong – only truth.

Everything that happens to me is there for me to grow and to learn from. I am not talking about perfection here, but I can really feel how my body has softened up since that session with the practitioner, and a certain humbleness has come into my life.

No longer do I see people or situations as excuses to react and retreat from my own power, but actually as precious gems that show and reflect to me the areas where I still need to take a deeper look, knowing that I have the choice as to how I move on, and in what quality.

By Stefanie Henn-Hecke, photographer and lover of truth, Germany

Related Reading:
Why are we so reactive?
Reaction versus response
Control & reaction v space & grace

666 thoughts on “Having The Right to React?

  1. “No longer do I see people or situations as excuses to react and retreat from my own power”. This is such a big topic, I can see in my own life how often what happens outside of me is a cause of my reaction, however I can work through each situation to understand why, and give power back to my essence.

  2. I reacted recently at work because I hate the lack of work ethics in my colleagues when it comes to taking care of a customer’s basic needs who are paying for a service they are not getting and who at the end of the day contribute to our salaries. I guess if I look at my responsibility in this situation I have contributed to this diminishing of standards in work and in life by accepting less by having the same I cannot be bothered attitude at some point in my life too. As the saying goes what goes around comes around … ouch!

  3. It is so easy to blame another and project our hurt onto them because something didn’t work out right or go our way. But this is avoiding our own responsibility and need to look within. What lesson are we avoiding in life?

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