2015-12-30 - Reactions
Not long ago I was holding our dog, Shyanne, preparing to take her outside. She has to be on a leash in the yard now, and as I held her to hook it to her collar, she decided to inappropriately shake. I say inappropriately, due to her timing. It’s quite common for her and all the other dachshunds I’ve had, to shake after waking up and getting outdoors. I think my brother once told me it was a habit developed by dogs that came out of dirt burrows where they slept outdoors. Mine, of course, have never slept outside, but may still have similar instincts even when not really needed by domesticated canines. The result of her shaking off right next to my face, while I was holding her, was similar to being punched in the face - and was quite painful. She had no intention of that result, and I knew it; therefore, my response was inaction. I have been slapped literally and figuratively of late. Do you ever have an instance where you have to decide whether or not someone is trying to push your buttons? How do you react when there is intention, versus lack of intention? Should it matter?
Frankly, one of the only times we have a choice, is when we decide whether or not we’re going to allow someone else’s behavior determine our reaction to them. It can be a very difficult decision, too. Somehow intent does matter, though, and personally when I know someone doesn’t mean to cause harm, it does affect how I respond to them. Unfortunately, even if they do intend harm, I am still supposed to take the high road, and that is even more difficult. My mother had a manner of handling her frustration with either an issue or a person. She would write about it, and sometimes later it became a letter to the editor or a frank discussion with a person. Her first draft was an unedited version of what was going through her mind, and that was part of her processing the situation. After some time, she would do a rewrite, focusing on the subject minus her feelings, which could include anger, betrayal, etc. It was highly effective and a reminder of how feelings are not the enemy, but how we handle them or let them handle us can become the enemy. Fortunately, we have been given power over the enemy, in Jesus’ name.
“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)
All scripture references from KJV (King James Version) unless otherwise noted