By: Marilyn L. Davis
“We cannot tell what may happen to us in the strange medley of life. But we can decide what happens in us – how we can take it, what we do with it, and that is what really counts in the end.” Joseph Fort Newton
Planned Actions or a Spontaneous Reaction?
All actions and reactions take energy and produce results. That simple thought prompted images of nuclear reactors, and off I went looking for images, and I hit on the torus. Now, I’m not going to give you a physics lessons – heck, I can barely explain it, but the concept of massive amounts of energy contained or released reinforced how we tend to either act or react to people’s words and actions, or the circumstances in our lives.
For more than twenty-nine years, I’ve said, preached, or explained, depending on my mood, that what happens influences our feelings, but doesn’t make us feel anything. When we state that something made us feel, two things happen:
1. We make others or circumstances responsible for our feelings.
2. We don’t take responsibility for our feelings.
Reacting to Circumstances
When we make someone or something responsible for how we feel, we give away our power and control over our feelings, and frankly, that’s more influence than I’m willing to give to anyone or anything. Still, I’ve reacted poorly this week. My other blog, Two Drops of Ink, moved from one server to another. That’s over 500 posts, that on the old site, showed correct formatting, fonts were the same, images displayed in the right place, and a fair amount of comments – with glowing praise for our writing.
And they didn’t transfer all neat and tidy.
In fact, some look like my 8-year old grandson wrote them for a school project. And that’s not how I want to present. So, I was mad. I was reacting to technology that’s right up there with fusion, physics, and other sciences that stump me.
Back in Control: Planning the Actions
I didn’t just feel mad, I felt embarrassed, frustrated, defensive, insecure, and on the verge of an emotional meltdown.
Then I took a step back and asked myself what actions could I take that would reduce my negative feelings. There wasn’t anything that was going to correct the problems in the transfer, except to take each post and redo it.
Yeah, I’m still irritated at the transfer, in part, because I don’t understand how something gets messed up when we followed the directions.
Ah, there’s a clue. My illusions of how it “ought to be”, or that things will always go according to plan.
That’s the thing about reacting. Often it’s when we don’t feel in control of a situation, or we have predicted the outcome before it happens. But I had to find a solution, or I’d explode on someone else, or implode and feel crappy.
Recovery Allows Me to Act and Not React
See, that’s the amazing thing about recovery. We know not to react, but to act, find a solution, and move forward.
So, the post today is short. I’ve still got 250 posts to reformat, select featured images, and then take a bubble bath because we all know that preventing the meltdown takes water – lots of it, maybe just minus the bubbles.
Are You Reacting or Acting Today?
I know I’m not the only one who reacts, or at least I hope I’m not. So what influenced you today to react or act? What helps you stay balanced when frustrated or irritated? Let me know in comments as a bubble bath is not always practical. Thanks.
Writing, and recovery heals the heart