I wonder why we react to a lot of things.
More accurately, I wonder why we invest in our reactions to things. I suppose we cannot control the initial response our body/emotions/thoughts offer us, but after that it’s ours.
I react to things that are completely beyond my control all the time.
We are going to have responses to things.
The weather sparks disappointment or frustration. Politics sparks anxiety and anger and frustration. Other drivers spark condescension and fear. Other people spark all these things plus happiness and sadness and abject terror.
These are physiological responses, emotions that jump up. Our body’s way of engaging with an environment that it often has no way of understanding or surviving. It could just stop there, but then our thoughts jump in and make it all personal and real and get us engaged with things we can’t control and would have no business controlling even if we could.
That’s where we can stop the narrative if we want to. Acknowledging the response and moving on. Not feeding it, not taking responsibility for things that aren’t ours, not investing in what will ultimately bring us only suffering.
Very few things have anything at all to do with us.
The weather is indifferent. Other people are self-absorbed. Unless you have overwhelming wealth or influence, the political process might as well be taking place in the stars. Yet somehow we still think that everything is about us, so we feel we get to have a response to everything. This belief gets us heavily invested in things that are well beyond our control and will always create unhappiness.
What causes a reaction in you?
How does this affect the things you are reacting to?
How does this affect you?
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I write, podcast and make videos about living in freedom through mindfulness, intentionality, compassion, and equanimity.
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