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Monday, March 12, 2018

Morning Reflection: My reactions are my responsibility.

My reactions are my responsibility.

It took me a long time to learn this truth, but my reactions are not reflexes.

A reflex is an action that occurs without conscious thought, like the way we pull our hand away from something hot. A reflex carries no judgment, no decision, no initiation of thought. It just simply occurs.

For the longest time, I thought of my reactions this way. Why…because it made things easier. If my reactions were in fact more of a reflex, then I didn’t have to think about them, didn’t have to control them, wasn’t responsible for how I acted and what I said.

After much thought and meditation, it occurs to me that I thought this way because it allowed me to evade the responsibility of choosing my reactions. It allowed me to act as a child, rather than an adult.

As I have grown through my journey, I have come to realize that my reactions are actually responses, that occur as a result of the way I see and feel about the world. But in truth, the way I see and feel about the world is a representation of my own inadequacies, fears, needs and aspirations.

My reactions are, in truth, a reflection of my perceived place in reality.

Since my reactions affect others, I feel that upon me falls a heavy responsibility, that of making sure that my reactions are congruent with the way that I would like to treat the world.

Where I could choose to react with anger, I hope to react with kindness. Where I could choose to react with fear, I hope I may react with faith. Where I could choose to react from pride, may I instead react with humility.

My reactions are my choices, and it would be wise for me to consider them carefully, and learn from them.

Because the reactions that I don’t ‘think about’ are in fact a roadmap to the deeper nature of my soul.

If I would learn to master my reactions, I must first learn to understand myself.

-- Dr. Alan Barnes

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