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

690 thoughts on “Having The Right to React?

  1. There is something in the way you write about taking responsibility that is so loving and easy to hear. Being able to see our contribution to every situation without critique. This is brilliant and makes for much rich learning.

  2. Stefanie this is gold as this element of responsibility is bigger then we realise. It’s in everything and using others as a reason or excuses is actually not on.

    Reading this blog has bought light to a situation at hand at work as well at home. Blaming others is not the way forward. Am I truly looking at what is being offered and am I basically choosing not to look at it from the point of evolution or growth.

    This has exposed me further and a beautiful set up to continue my/our merry way of being ignorant and irresponsible. This right and wrong is a huge judgment upon others and will definitely need to be worked on further. As I take more responsibility of my reactions, I take more responsibility of how I affect others. Now that is truly caring about you and others…

    1. Again, a beautiful sharing that shows the power of openness and the willingness to look at the parts we play in situations… without self criticism the inspiration and learning is endless.

  3. Reacting is time wasted not reading the underlying energy of the person/situation. Reading the energy depersonalises it all and allows for healing. Moaning doesn’t bring change, observation and understanding does.

    1. Leigh I agree, reacting is not only time wasting but also the impact it has on the body is huge too. And I totally agree its wasted energy, energy that could be spent on reading the situation at hand. Many lost moments for evolution and expansion of observing what life presents to us.

  4. When we point the finger at another we have three 3 fingers pointing at our-selves, ‘’So’’ it is amazing when we deepen our relationship with our self and others and walk side by side as equals.

  5. Stefanie I like how you have exposed how we go into ‘right and wrong’ rather than being with the situation and truly understanding what is going on.

  6. Why is it that we struggle so much with our own power? We shy away from this instead of embracing it, and we like to blame others for things not being like we would want them to be.

  7. Stefanie, an amazing sharing in this blog, with some great insights in how easy it is for us to blame others rather than take responsibility for ourselves. Thank you!

  8. I have come to the understanding that there is no right or wrong just a learning, this has changed my perspective of myself not to give myself a hard time over something and also not to give another a hard time by judging them for what they may or may not be doing. This actually supports me to see that life can be so simple and how we complicate it by not seeing what is there to be seen and acted upon.

  9. Really this is a societal thing where we have just turned a blind eye to reaction, it happens so much wherever you go it can be hard to see there is another way.
    But indeed there is another way and that is called responsibility – Being responsible for our actions and truly understanding how we effect others means we are far more likely to respond than to react.

  10. It gives us a sense of pride, an arrogance that we know better than & that we are better. Reactions are simply an excuse to bring others down because they don’t match whatever expectations we have.

  11. “Everything that happens to me is there for me to grow and to learn from.”

    I love this reminder, when we know this life becomes a play ground of joy rather then a prison of hesitation.

  12. One I still use is my mood as a result of poor choices I’ve made. Example: I go to bed late = poor sleep, feel grumpy in the morning and somehow I believe that I have a right in my grumpy state to be narky with other people. Even if it’s just silently judging them in my head.
    How, I ask, does my poor choices give me the right to then judge and be grumpy and unpleasant to other people?
    The “It doesn’t harm anyone else if I do this” thought is a liar, all our choices, directed at ourselves or not, affect other people.

  13. Stefanie, I recently had a huge blaming blitz it was quite disgusting to feel this in my body and once the negative energy had taken hold it seemed impossible to shake off. I was totally out of order and thankfully by being aware of what was going on at the time I was able to express it in a way with someone that did not allow the energy to stay in my body. It has taken me many years to get to this understanding of just how unacceptable it is to indulge in negative energy. It is total poisonous to me and everyone else is affected by it too.

  14. Reading this highlights one of the many ways we use the pranic consciousness to put ourselves into delay of the next level of responsibility that is waiting for us.

  15. Blaming is a trick to avoid evolving … well said and so true. When we blame others we are not taking responsibility for ourselves, our actions and our thoughts etc so how can we ever learn from life if we do not do this.

  16. “Everything that happens to me is there for me to grow and to learn from.” I so agree Stefanie. years ago I would not have accepted this tenet – but embracing difficulties as a challenge and an opportunity to learn and grow has become my new way of being ( tho not always instantly!)

  17. “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.

    1. It’s actually almost hilarious to consider how easily we blame others first, as opposed to looking at what we have been responsible for – it is like a comedy show only we certainly would not find it funny whilst we are in the reaction itself. And then what a blessing once we recognise how much we have been fooled and are willing to be humble and surrender to our own true essence and power as you have so beautifully said here too Melinda.

  18. 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!

  19. 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?

    1. The blame culture seems very strong in society today. But I am part of this society so have surely contributed to this (in the past) The more we take responsibility for ourselves – be it our own health or other areas of life – the more we can reflect that out to others.

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