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"All humans seek the illusive touch of another's Soul, which opens us to the sense of belonging to something bigger than the self. Dr. Kortsch has given us the true "tao" of relationship in this brilliant exploration of emotional tapestry. We will be grateful for this illumination of spiritual partnership for generations to come." Chris Griscom, Spiritual Leader, Author

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Reacting to External Things


Here's a quote that I love and which opened many windows and doors in me when I first read it in my teens, so it became an integral part of a collection of quotes that I have been carrying around with me for a good number of decades:

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.

Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (from Meditations)

What are things that are external to you that may stress you? Just about everything: your job, your partner, your mother-in-law, your children, your health, a conversation, your financial situation, daily traffic, bills, the weather, delays, not knowing how to do something, the news, you name it, ten to one it is external to you. So if it is external to you, your reaction to it is one that comes from inside of you. The reaction doesn't just happen because there is snarled traffic, it happens because you choose it, or allow it, or are blind to the fact that you even have a choice, and so what seems to be automatic to you (your reaction), is actually something you have a say about.

Your own estimate of it: you decide (even if you're not doing that on the fully conscious level) how you will think and feel about something and how you will react to it, because it is your estimate of it that makes it something negative or awful or terrifying or neutral or positive in your life. 


By choosing how you will react, by being in charge of your reactions, rather than allowing them to blow you about like a leaf in the wind, you gain inner freedom.

The first step - as always - is becoming aware. Being aware means you take note of your thoughts and reactions as they occur and you decide whether they are useful and good for you at that moment, and if they are not, you decide to have different thoughts and reactions. If you've never heard of this, it may sound ridiculous, or daunting, or impossible. Please take the time to have a look at some of the other posts about this subject on this blog by clicking on the labels at the bottom of this article for further information.

The second step is choosing to get yourself there. Without awareness and without choice nothing changes. Give yourself the gift of inner freedom.

Photo Credit: not sure to whom to credit the image, but I found it here

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

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