Respond, Not React. A Post Surgery Lesson
I've accumulated a lot of stories, topics, lessons-learned that are all neatly written in the Notes section of my iPhone. These are all things I'd like to write about here at some point. However, as it happens in life, we are thrown curveballs, at which point we get to decide how we'd like to resolve the situation: react or respond.
In baseball terms, I'd assume we'd need to react. Calculate a weighty split-second decision determining (potentially) the fate of the inning, game, series, or season. In life, if we're lucky, there is usually a grace period, where we're given the opportunity to *pause* *breathe* *take a beat* and step into the resolution with a response.
Since I'm on this baseball thread ... I'll try to hit this one out of the park.
This week I wanted to react ((( ahhh another setback! surgery! recovery! poor me poor me! ))).
Instead, I took a beat. Turned off my social media. Flew back home. Camped out in the TV room. Watched films. Read books. Listened to lectures. Took notes. Seldomly answered texts. And at times, squirmed in my seat from the non-doing.
Why did I squirm? Because when you're alone and you're actively restricting the outreach for human connection and comfort (to fill the noise) -- THINGS come up. Uncomfortable things that we do a superb job of quieting as we fill our days and lives with busy-ness, distractions, and numbing behaviors.
Instead of texting YOU (some I know well, some I know not so well),
or calling YOU (those who'd be willing to share so that I wouldn't have to),
or FT'ing YOU (those who'd be willing to cheer me up in animated storytelling),
or emailing YOU (those who'd engage in the melancholy of the isolation - therefore, destroying the isolation),
or endlessly scrolling through the lives of people (some I know, most I don't know) ...
Instead of ALL of that and then some, I SAT IN THE DISCOMFORT.
I SAT UNTIL MY THROAT BECAME SO TIGHT, MY EYES SO HEAVY, MY BREATHING SO SUFFOCATED
--- I had no choice BUT to cry.
And cry I did.
I cried and I cried and I cried until I couldn't cry anymore. Until the depths of the tunnel that is my umbilical cord ( which is where I had surgery ) felt the hollowness and the emptiness it was looking for.
And then it was over. The pain. The Discomfort. The anxiety. The squirming.
The NEED for someone to take it all away from me as a means to provide relief.
I just felt peace.
What did I find in this moment? ME.
My heart. My breath. My mind. My body. My soul.
I no longer felt alone.
You see, there is much to say about HUMAN CONNECTION, after all, I am building a business on that very foundation. However, self-reliance, the ability to connect with oneself, is an art, a practice, we seldom take into consideration. Our world, our Human Condition, relies too heavily on the "fix me" or else I will not be fixed mentality. The pill. The drink. The injection. The social media. The guy or the girl. The friend. The let's have a kid. The engagement. The wedding. The marriage. The job. The affair. The list goes on.
It's ALL the things in order to not feel the THING.
Singular. Because at the core there's just one: our immense fear of being alone, unneeded, unloved, unwanted and without a sense of belonging. The TRUTH is we're always here. WE BELONG TO OURSELVES. Yes, I know it's hard to comprehend (because it's scary), but read this carefully and then really take it in: once we fill that emptiness within us WITH US the abundance around us is suddenly crystal clear.
So, why Alyonka (you're asking) are we titling this "Respond, not React" if you've not mentioned it? Great question (( I love questions -- keep asking them )).
Because, had I reacted, I would have been doing so out of pain, out of "less than", out of "not enough", out of "poor me", out of "fix me", out of "soothe me", out of "console me", out of ... you fill in your blank. I would have been running from The Discomfort instead of welcoming it with arms wide open, ready to receive it's cleansing embrace, sitting still as it crashed its' waves of lessons over me ... lessons I am now able to share. Clear-headed, confident, whole. Me.
The difference is that I am resolving the situation
out of a place of Wholeness instead of a place of Emptiness.
Wholeness, mind you, that I was able to provide for myself. Which leads to - by the way - the ability to receive from others without any sort of expectation or attachment to their story or reason.
Do you see? ( if not, push reply and i'd be happy to unpack this for you ).
I'll add this topic to my Notes for another time.
So that's the lesson. TAKE A BEAT. RESPOND, NOT REACT. Fill YOUR foundation so that you can open your world to abundance and the act of unattached receiving, and thereby, unattached giving. DO THE WORK. I did not say that this was easy.
And, lastly. Regular, antibacterial soap. You know, the kind that smells like a doctor's office and leaves your skin feeling like your thumb is smudging against putty? There's something sexy about it's simplicity. Get some this week. Try it out and let me know what you think.