Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Moving Beyond Reactivity: The Atmosphere of Respect

Many people don't understand respect. It's an atmosphere you create around you. It's not really something you can barter back and forth. 

Also, people that have known you for a long time are apt to discount any progress you make because it may expose feelings of lack of progress in their own lives. That's just one option. They also don't want to be left behind. The crucial lesson is that there are many reactions people have when you change. 

Too often, we can over personalize what people do or don't do, say or don't say to us when mostly it has nothing at all to do with us and more to do with whatever their own issues might be. Taking it personally is often what some desire, either intentionally or unintentionally.  

Certainly, it seems personal when it's being said directly to us or being done to us, but most people are just acting out learned behaviors and responses based on their life of pain and suffering. We have that in common with everyone. If we can consider this before reacting emotionally, we will help not only ourselves, but possibly them as well.

I try not to take anything personally by others, even family . . . especially family. Sometimes, people are looking for that reaction so they know they still have some control over you. Other times, people simply have no concept of the ripples and waves of their choices, words, actions, and intentions in the lives of everyone around them. Lacking the ability to connect causes and effects is also something we all have done at some point. 

The key is to remove the knee jerk reaction, not just externally but internally as well. By allowing the mind to become aware instead of simply being reactive, we allow our natural state of awareness and objectivity to clarify and focus the mind. We then can more clearly see our thought process and what feelings develop, postulate as to why this is happening, and then determine what actions, if any, are actually necessary. 

Over time, our ability to more accurately discern in the moment will improve, and we will be able to learn as we go from our seat of awareness. As we gain confidence in this process and path, others will either accept it or they will want no part of it. That's okay. Change and transformation are not something that everyone is prepared to embrace or have staring them directly in their face. 

That doesn't mean we go back to embracing our ignorance, does it?

Every step we take or don't take can be a conscious choice to become more aware, to broaden our understanding of ourselves and of all others. We are truly no different from anyone else. They just might be choosing a different choice. As much as we are okay with what we are doing, we must be okay with what they are doing. That is what the atmosphere of respect truly is. Being aware. Being okay.

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