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

379 thoughts on “Having The Right to React?

  1. We think we do have the right to react, in fact we even think this is normal in life, and somehow that is true, because there are so many things in life that go beyond our innate knowing of harmony and love, and yet reacting does not lead us anywhere but feeds exactly that what we are reacting to. So it is the reflecting of what is going on for ourselves that helps us understand where we, ourself need to look at and work on to have less of this disharmonious quality in the world.

  2. I have noticed that when I start to make things about right and wrong, I have already begun to absorb what is ‘happening to me’ in that moment, as opposed to taking a step back and observe what is truly going on, and from there being able to read the whole picture.

    1. Yes going into the ‘me’ story rather than making it about ‘us’ and ‘all’ does mean we go into right and wrong really quickly, I have found this also. It is like we get tunnel vision and stop ourselves seeing the bigger picture. Not going into right and wrong enables us to have a panoramic, spherical, wide lensed sense of a situation, which offers us the potential to respond rather than react.

  3. We do all deserve to be treated lovingly, with so much care, but that’s not the reality of the world in which we currently live. And what we don’t see when we hold these expectations is the deeper reason why abuse comes our way in the first place.

  4. “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 so true and all it leads to is to make ourselves feel better about ourselves over another, whereas in truth no one is better than anyone else as we are all equal and all have something of equal relevance to share with everyone.

  5. I can very much relate to this; ‘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 seems to be a ‘common’ way for us to be in relationships, with us wanting to be the one who is right and the other person as wrong, rather than everyone involved looking at their part and working on a way to resolve the issue.

  6. “Actually, it is simply a trick to avoid evolving.” Yes, so it is rather to look at why we don’t want to change or evolve instead of trying to not blame anymore as the blaming is simply the result of trying to not feel what is there to be felt about ourselves.

  7. Like we can inspired by more evolved role models respond to evolve further back to who we naturally are, we can too be inspired by anti evolving role models and as a reaction choose to hold back all the love that we are and choose to not evolve any further.

  8. This blog invites me to look a bit deeper in how I respond or react to life. Do I see life as like a play garden as when I was a child, or do I see life as a hurdle, a struggle I have to go through day after day. I must say for now it is maybe 50/50 but today I can make the choice and take the step to make responding to life more prevalent then the struggle, the reacting way of life I used to live in the past.

  9. Wanting to be right and take a stance against another is indeed a contraction from living the authority that we all have access to.

  10. We cannot just willingly decide to not react as it takes some work, honesty and a good portion of responsibility to take care of that in us which is triggered by certain, for us very personal triggers, in other words, we need to heal our hurts and change the resulting behaviours. On top there is something that likes reaction, the spiritual being that likes to keep its story of self-identification running by consistently feeding itself with more of the same, i.e. same hurt – same trigger – same thoughts – same behaviour – same justification … So basically we have the right to be irresponsible and blame the world for it but it doesn´t get us anywhere, just stewing in one’s own juice (the spirit´s feast) to the great detriment of who we are.

  11. ‘When I found the reason to blame the other person I had found the justification I needed for my reaction.’ – Wow, how true – justification makes us blind to what is truly going on.

  12. What I love about your sharing is that it highlights so clearly how accustomed we are to let our life be disturbed by what is going on around us. This means we go constantly off our track and involve ourselves with things that are not for us to be involved in. There is a beauty in staying steady, open and observing, being fully there, listening, feeling without the want / need / must to change anything but simply bring oneself in full.

  13. Better express and learn that it came tainted with something and be pulled up for it than keep it within and let it permeate the body.

  14. Sometimes we have no visible choice whether to react or not – it happened too fast. In that case I found it important not to act while in reaction and to find out why I reacted, so I had more of a choice the next time.

  15. A couple of years ago I moved into an apartment on my own after having lived in varying situations with others for around 8 years, this living on my own led me to see that there was no-one else to blame for my growth or lack of it, and I became aware that from childhood on I had consistently blamed others for my feeling unloved, and for the situations I found myself in. Living on my own has given me the opportunity of stepping out of the blame game and taking responsibility for myself.

  16. Stefanie I so know this game well! I too have been master at the blame game, all to avoid my responsibility in the situation. We think life is easier when we look out and blame but really it just keeps us trapped in the never ending harmful cycle of wrong and right.

  17. This is such a true sharing – when we find a place for blame, or justification for our reaction, we have placed the responsibility to the outside world and look no further within ourselves as to why we reacted and what it was that triggered the reaction, how we can grow and evolve from the situation and how in the end, it matters not what happened outside of ourselves because in the end, it is our choice to react.

  18. ‘Be honest – who would not be adamant that reacting is a right in certain situations?’ – Everything in society is set up and encouraging us to be in reaction, whether it is a political discussion, movie, music, delayed flight, so called unfairness and dramas that ‘happen’ all around us, we react non stop.

    1. It is actually a massive distraction to blame and react as a quick relief of tension… that doesn’t address the underlying separation. Its true much of the competition, sport, politics and media etc insight reaction and division.

  19. What right do we have to anything when we have knowingly walked so far from our truth, a journey that has caused untold war, disease, illness, corruption, abuse and proliferation of evil?

  20. Yes, Stefanie, reacting and retreating from our power serves no-one, and delays us in our return to grandness. As you say, we can simply learn from every situation and step forward to be more.

    1. Yes, reaction also lets the other off the hook – whatever we say, they can point to the reaction and ignore or reject what we say.

  21. This is a great point; ‘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.’ I can feel that letting go of right and wrong and instead being understanding and loving can allow us to easily resolve situations.

  22. What you are sharing about when we react is really interesting; ‘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.’ What I have learnt since reading this article is that the people that I react to and go into judgement with are there for a reason and that there is much learning to be had, so rather than being critical I am starting to ponder on what there is for me to learn in these relationships.

  23. “Having The Right to React?” – we have a right as human beings though how often or deeply do we consider the consequences, ripple effects and repercussions of our ‘right’ and the ensuing reaction(s). When we do [take consideration], we arrive at the truth of energetic responsibility and energetic integrity.

  24. Blame takes us away from our bodies and from what is truly going on. Even if everything we blame changed, was ‘fixed’ per say or that person we blame for making us feel uncomfortable or less than actually turned around and stopped triggering stuff for us, it would still change nothing for ourselves. As in, we will still feel the emptiness inside that we haven’t chosen to walk our power, our beauty, the love we are, with whatever is around us.

  25. Our ideas of justice are founded on right and wrong and disconnected, random events. When we see that every single thing that occurs is relative and effected by what we choose we start to get that the pointing finger must eventually come back to us.

  26. Great sharing on responsibility and the expectation we have that others are responsible for making my life! Powerful it would be if this was the conversations in our workplaces.

  27. Understanding that we are all love first – this is the essence of who we are, then, it’s our choice what energy we align with, has been an enormous revelation for me and is what supports me to try and de-personalise heated situations when my go to place would normally be to react, lash out, blame, the whole gambit. When we are connected with our body we are aligning with love, when we are dis-connected we attract the opposite energy, like open vessels waiting to be used like puppets. It’s through our forever deepening relationship with our body and our awareness of the subtle changes we can feel that alert us to discern what energy we are aligning with.

      1. Agreed Victoria. The outline of our body tricks our minds into believing that there is a barrier between what happens on the inside of us and what happens on the outside of us but there is no barrier on earth or anywhere else for that matter, that energy can not traverse. Therefore what we’ve got going on in the inside effects everything that’s outside of us and vise versa.

    1. As you align immediately to the energy of right and wrong, which only can be but a fight and serves no one. Reflecting your truth in this situation could cause maybe a reaction also, but it would not seed the energy of dicussion/ blaming/ right and wrong. This kind of reaction in the other offers actually a healing for the other.

  28. Being in reaction feels very uncomfortable in the body and when we are in it we don’t always understand how to get out of it and it’s easy to dump on other people with judgement and blame. Changing our movements and making sure we stay tender makes a difference, when we are in reaction we tend to go hard, so tenderness is a great antidote. Just walking from room to room in tenderness can shift the energy.

  29. Our reactions only succeed in fuelling more of the same, hence why we have so much war, violence and abuse in the world today. By stopping when we feel the need to react, and to question what is truly going on here, how am I actually feeling right now, brings an honesty and the opportunity to then respond in a different way that allows space for conversations to open up, a sharing between people, which brings understanding and a way to then move forward in a positive way.

  30. We can blame everything and everyone around us for our lives and the situations we find ourselves in, however, nothing will ever change until we stop, take a deep and honest look at ourselves and then take responsibility for our choices – this is a game-changer!

  31. Reading this has reminded me of how I can blame by saying, ‘if only…’ if only I had a better car, if only I had more time, if only they were more supportive. The list is endless. What’s beautiful is coming to appreciate each situation for the opportunity to understand something that will bring healing and a more loving way of being.

    1. Reclaiming our own power and strength, knowing and accepting that everything is perfectly designed and available, makes us more rich than any other outside factor could ever do.

  32. It certainly adds some gumption to our self development when we truly take on board that all the world around us is doing is reflecting who we are, the good the bad and the ugly all wrapped into one Heavenly Body. The answer soon becomes clear that when we don’t like something we in the outside world, it’s time to address its root cause on the inside of us.

  33. From reading your blog again Stefanie, I realised how blame can come in very subtle forms. If we hold back living in our true power this is already a reaction to life and therefore it impacts on everything and everyone we meet.

    1. Yes, blame seems to be everywhere, whenever we find excuses that why we are where we are and are not willing to be open to the more that is on offer.

  34. So true Stefanie no matter what the level of disturbance we can go into when we feel we are being judged, such a classic way and excuse to pull away from someone and keep a distance. Its all about the opposite to that, being open and transparent with others but we find this difficult because our whole lives we have been in reaction. Kinda makes sense why the world is in the mess that it is today. What would we do if there was no reactions!? Connect and go deeper into our relationships truly so.

  35. When in reaction to accepting the truth of who we are, it is easy to be in reaction to others and then compound it by blaming others for our own lovelessness.

    1. Yes it is simply a choice if we react or respond to life. a choice we can make in every moment of the day 24/7 as you say so also at night when we sleep.

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