The collective mind swells with both glory and backwash. You are subject to and participant in a grand experiment. Fear and provocation are used endlessly to grab you, pull you in, and keep you as a captive audience. I mean, why wouldn’t it? These triggers would have pointed out all-that-needs-attention during more simpler times. You don’t come to this Earth for free. Your body is a carrier for DNA that has traveled through time immemorial to be the codes that create and display your stunning physicality. Every influence throughout your ancestry has impacted these codes. In order to move forward, many concessions must have been made, some of them less than positive. Dare I say it, if our ancestors were not to pay attention to fear and provocation, you would not stand here today. Maybe it was the fear of the lion on the plains of Africa? Or provocation within primitive communities that initiated young men and women alike into a potentially dangerous world. All things are part of the larger god body, and these reactive patterns to fear and provocation are no different. They served their purpose, and still do in survival situations. Now we are left with the task of negotiating with our primal instincts and ancestral patterns.
Repatterning is essential, but takes time. How long did it take these bodies and minds to get to this point in our collective evolution? It may take a bit of time to repattern, stay diligent. Right here and now we can choose to take a stand of response as opposed to reaction. A quote from an HR Manual “There is a huge difference between reacting and responding. A reaction is typically quick, without much thought, tense and aggressive. A response is thought out, calm and non-threatening. A reaction typically provokes more reactions – perpetuating a long line of hatefulness with nothing accomplished.” Remember that as your scope of awareness builds, judgments will arise. Your first and foremost ability to react or respond comes from within. As you have a judgement of the world around you or of your inner process, choose to respond instead of react.
Flipping the script
As we look at the quote above, we can see the hallmarks of reactivity; quick, tense, less thought out, and aggressive. Simply through knowing this, we can choose to foster an inner environment that is counter to reactivity and supportive to responsiveness. Thought out is not analysis, and often analysis is where we can get stuck in a loop of self reactivity, seeking to understand where and why everything is happening. On this end, I can promise you that faith in the unfolding of life will go a long way. While it is important to know your triggers, it is also important to let go and move forward. This will allow you to see the trigger for what it is, a tool to awaken something that lurks in your unconscious.
Joe the irritating coworker
I have been in many work and living situations with people who just get under my skin. In the past I approached these people from a space of victim consciousness. Let’s say Joe just always causes me to feel down on myself, to feel critical, anxiety ridden, and just not great. When I am forced to be around Joe I have thoughts like “Why is this guy like this?” “Can he just STOP being Joe?” or when incredibly flustered “Geez I really don’t like Joe as a person”. I may even come up with recommendations for Joe and how he can cure his unbelievably arrogant ability to be himself. This part is my ego playing god and never leads to anything productive. What does this vein of thinking really bring me? Frustration, arrogance, more victim consciousness, a feeling of entitlement, a separation from a fellow human, and it fills me with venom and hatred. If I were to continue to analyze Joe and his actions, I would be completely missing the point. In fact, if Joe were abusive, violent, or dangerous in any way, it would be most prudent to separate myself from his presence, to analyze such a situation would be to endure more abuse. In the end, if I were to stay in this situation which was abusive or dangerous, it would be highlighting a deeper pattern within myself where somehow, some way, I had rationalized the abuse, meaning I felt I deserved it.
We have all been in difficult situations, and I have subjected myself to abusers time and time again. Whether it is a cheating partner, an emotionally abusive ‘best’ friend, or seeking the validation of a brother whose anger and rage left me with years of medicine journeys and psychotherapy to work with. Point being, I felt I deserved it. All of these people, including the hypothetical Joe, were encouraging me to unfold and become aware of what lurked in the shadows of my unconscious. It is for the first time in my life, now at 37, that I can see how I hold sole responsibility for the manifestation of these relationships and the dynamics within. That is not to say that my childhood friend is a kind and loving person, that my cheating ex is clear of her karma, or that my brother was justified in hurting me so often. There are clear boundaries that were crossed in all of these situations, and simply because I allowed it, it doesn’t make it right. It is important to forgive but not forget, the fire on the stovetop will always burn you, regardless of how many times you pray for forgiveness.
I was in a reactive state for most of my life, and because of this, I was blocking myself from unfolding. Sickness and depression manifested in place of my budding awareness. I was choosing the quick route, the shortcut, the caffeine-instead-of-a-meal-approach to my own growth. The toxic residue that would release itself from my emotional, physical, and mental body were simply unused resources that are there to propel me forward once I achieve a more enlightened and responsive view of my life.
Responsive is loving, it is responsible, it is patient. Responsiveness is aligned with the soul, allowing for the unfolding, choosing your path. Great strength and resilience is required to live from a responsive state. For it is in intentionally responding that we may manifest our heart’s desires. Rising from the mindless swell of reactivity will certainly ruffle your own feathers. As we spoke of before, it is easier (in the short term) to be reactive. Being reactive allows us to stay in ‘control’ (not really) but at least it fosters such an illusion. Reactivity protects the ego from deeper revelations which can make us feel sick with ourselves and our choices. But hey, would you really still be reading if you wanted an easy ego-driven path? So let’s talk about being responsive.
Responsiveness is a walking meditation
A softer side exposes itself, thus uncovering both gifts and detriments. Often they are one in the same. An old adage seems apropos here “A weapon is simply a tool that is used to harm”. In a reactive state, the fuel (tool) for our ultimate growth into bliss and self love is used to tag, hate, and blame (weapon). So what are some tools for demilitarizing our internal state?
Stop the blame game altogether and take responsibility (response ability)
In the example above, Joe was to blame in my reactive state for my frustration, discomfort, and difficulty. In a responsive state, I am able to see that I was blind to my own judgements, self loathing, and anger. These underlying patterns were keeping me from showing a compassionate eye to my fellow being. It is here that we approach a new level of consciousness. Am I now to ‘blame’ for these deleterious patterns? Was it me all along? Well, yes and no. It was me all along, but that does not mean I am to blame. To blame myself would be to direct the same victriole and ego driven drama on myself that I directed towards Joe. At this point in the awakening, it is time to face myself with the love and compassion that is my birthright. Instead of the blame game, choose to be responsible.
Depending on the situation, responsibility takes different forms. Life is often very busy, and prioritizing what needs to change is variable for each individual. Regardless, remind yourself that “No obstacle in my path is too great to overcome”. Seek the assistance of your guides, tools, teachers, and practices. This could be crystals, hiking, psychotherapy, psychedelics, fasting, napping, journaling, making artwork, or just crying (tears work!). Taking responsibility does not, I repeat, does not mean to shoulder all of the weight. Taking responsibility means that you no longer expect someone else to ‘fix’ the problem for you. The foreman on a construction job takes responsibility for a building being erected, however they do not do this alone. Instead they seek counsel, employ builders, electricians, plumbers. Individuals come to inspect every step of the process and offer their various expert insights to ensure the stability and security of the new creation. Do not go at it alone, it simply will not work, or at least it never has for me.
Open the door
Based on my experience, as we begin to unfold and choose responsibility for our lives, the helpers, teachers, and guides seem to magically appear, all we have to do is be open to their assistance. Perhaps it is the reactive state of blame and projection that shows our soul that we aren’t ready yet for the next step in our evolution. Once these walls start tumbling down, the invites go out to one and all, ‘Come join in the collaborative effort to evolve into higher consciousness!’
Some things don’t budge, and some things do
Sometimes, regardless of how hard we work on self development, there is no easy fix for a situation. It can feel necessary to lash out at the unfoldings in your environment. In a workplace, through responsive measures, you may want to speak to your higher ups about what is happening, let them know what you see and perhaps even how this person impacts the overall work environment. Or, you may deem it necessary to confront the individual yourself, with love, honesty, and compassion. Still, however, the discomfort remains, nothing is done to shift the space or actions of another. In my experience, some people and places just are not in alignment with our personal development. These people and places will feel both comfortable and irritating, often vacillating between the two. These people, places, and habits are like worn tread on tires, you will start to lose grip, and they may explode at any moment, leaving you stranded and confused. If an environment just won’t change, it is time for you to get up and go. You’ve done your part to be responsive, you observed your objections and projections, maybe you have even worked with your helpers, teachers, and guides. You have packed up your emotional and spiritual baggage, now get out before you start unpacking again. Leaving is never comfortable but if it is in your best interest then go go go go go! As we spoke of before, the invites have been sent, now leave the nest, be smart and intentional, and move forward!
The gift of your personal work
Rarely, but miraculously, we can take part in the transformation of an entire environment, simply by making the switch from reactivity to responsiveness. It is with patience and virtue that we stand tall in difficult relationships and workplaces. Again, if it is abusive or violent, please seek help and leave immediately, protect yourself and affirm your worth. If, however, it is simply annoying and irritating, based on words, thoughts, and emotions, you just might see it through.
While you have no right to tell people how to live, the age old adage about being the change you wish to see in the world holds weight. When you truly own the discomfort within your environment as your own creation, you might just be the first person who has encountered this pattern with a responsible attitude. I mean, we all know how a negative person can bring down an entire gathering. So, with this in mind, why can’t a responsible and self loving presence upgrade the entire gathering? It is possible, but don’t get me wrong, this kind of magic only goes so far, as each being will still be confronted with their own reasons for being in the situation or environment. Check your expectation at the door. The forces and unconscious factors that motivate us and others can take lifetimes to uncover and shift. An individual may simply be focusing on something else and could care less about your specific path. In other words, they are not interested in your bend on reality. However, there is a common link between us all. Much of this link, like much of ourselves, is entirely unconscious. If you dedicate yourself to self work and personal evolution through responsive and loving means, you will confront and uncover much of this unconscious patterning and the habits that go along with it. You become a doorway to wisdom and awakening, just as your professor is the doorway to you learning biology and all that comes with it. If one is willing to listen, they may just hear the spiritual alarm clock and decide to get out of the victim bed and put their responsibility pants on.
So keep it up, in every place, in every time, in every space within your being. Align yourself with beings who choose to be responsible for their world. For it is impossible to manifest your desired outcome when you have decided that your outcome is someone else’s fault. Co creation is the next evolution as we step into the age of Aquarius. Unify and unite around what is sacred to your chosen collective. Dignity and freedom of expression are basic tenets of sovereign beings, and this will come to the fore. Play your role by choosing your desired outcome and manifesting. This is not about coercion or even influence, it is about gaining back your power through responsive awareness to self. Your DNA has a body suit and resonance that will shift when your mind and heart align. Up up up and away with the past. You create now, you shift worlds.