What’s in a reaction?

By Amy Turner, The Courage Tribe Founder
Reactions can be tools – insights of crucial awareness, if we pay attention and are willing to learn.  Or they can be weapons flailing about unchecked, recklessly, sometimes mindlessly, wounding.  

We are in nearly constant reaction to the world around us, and many everyday reactions become habitually unloving and hurried.  Eye rolls behind someone’s back, a feeling that when we are told “no” it’s because we must be unloveable, dismissal of a loved one who needs our attention, a snippy retort as we grapple for the upper hand, cutting someone off in traffic because “they deserve it,” the unloving way you may feel about your boss, parent, child, partner, friend, or someone different from you.  

Where can you courageously make room in your reactions for love – for you and the other person?  Can you be curious about your reactions?  Can you allow your reaction to bring fresh opportunity and room for others in your life?  Can you forgive a reaction?

Reactions can make us feel out of control.  Sometimes they spin us out of control – often when we want to deny the very reaction we’re having, or the reaction someone else is having.  Yet, reactions also serve as gateways to understanding complex feelings.  Our feelings are representative of our hearts, and our hearts are gateways to living our purpose.

What would happen if we didn’t deny our reactions, but instead leaned into them to take a closer look?  What if we realized our own actions needed improving, and were cause for making an apology?  What if we apologized or opened ourselves to receive an apology, if that is what’s called for, and then moved forward with courageous compassion and accountability?

The funny thing about leaning into reactions is it tends to bring us further along in living proactive, mindful lives.  When we bring compassion and understanding to reactions we make room for ourselves and each other, become active in our own rescue, and shift from victims to powerful creative forces in our own lives.

A reaction is an opportunity for new action, again and again, if we let it be.  Love your reaction.  Use it to inform your next action and courageously transform your life – one reaction at a time.  

So.  What are you reacting to?

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