4th Reboot, Day 29
For the past few weeks I've been on a spiritual/emotional/mental renewal that has done no less than cleanse my heart and refresh my soul. A few practical shifts have taken place. For example, when my wife is struggling to hold it together, I chose to empathize with her (instead of reacting
with judgement, frustration, anger, or resentment). When my teenage son makes poor decisions or doesn't do what he is told, I chose to understand him--he's a teenager! (instead of reacting
with anger, fear for his future, frustration, or self-judgement that I'm a weak and ineffective father). So far, I can't say that I miss getting angry or frustrated. Looking back at my life, I can't think of a situation where I've thought, "I'm so glad that I got super angry--that was really helpful!" In fact, it seems that usually the opposite was true. Up to now,
reacting with choosing
anger, frustration, judgement, fear, or self-loathing had not been very effective for me. Choosing to respond with compassion, empathy, and patience seems to be working better. I'm going to stick with these choices for a while, and if it doesn't work out, I can always go back to anger, fear, judgement, shame, and self-loathing. I'll let you know how it goes.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”