Is This a Reaction or a Response?

The world is changing. Today, that change seems more real, more imminent. Our appearance of safety has changed to face a new threat that isn’t fully known in both effectiveness and depth. Worldwide governments have issued shutdown orders and our personal lives have become isolated. New words like Coronavirus and COVID-19 loom on every news station and are insidiously hiding within every crack of the internet. What do you do?

This is where life gets better

Some of the scariest moments in life happen when the appearance of control is stripped away. You are terrified when buckled into the preverbal runaway rollercoaster. But there is always a choice. Or, better yet, there is always a response.

There’s a difference between reacting and responding. If you are the bear that is poked, you can swipe and attack, or you can be curious and respond. You can take it personally, or you can look for the underlying meaning.

Life is made in moments, not reactions

The importance of realizing life is created in the pause, in the space, of moments is an invaluable asset to growth. Even in breathing: you are that space between the in-breath and the out-breath. That is the space where you can create a reaction or a response. Consider:

A reaction is

  • Impulsive
  • Emotionally-driven
  • Tiring
  • Unplanned

A response is

  • Present
  • Appropriate
  • Investigative
  • Guided

How do I respond and not react to COVID-19?

Sure, the Coronavirus is scary. It is important to acknowledge any emotions you feel. Even if you don’t want to feel a particular emotion, the first step in responding is acknowledging. The next steps are: be present, be curious, and LOVE. With love, you shine the purest spotlight on any situation. With love, you can see clearly under any shadow or crevice. With love, you can open the door to the moment and respond appropriately, with guidance of your heart.

As for COVID-19 and the Coronavirus response, the Daily Stoic offered some great advice. They stress the importance of focusing on the things we can change versus the things we can’t change. We can choose to educate ourselves about the spread of the virus and to respond with appropriate measures. We can choose not to horde and we can choose not to endanger the vulnerable. We can also choose to grow. We can learn. We can love each other. We can come out from the other end a better person.

As with any situation, even if it seems dire, we can use this as an opportunity to create the next big moment for our life.


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