Before walking the path I walk now I rarely gave myself time to rest and digest what was going on in my life and around me. I was constantly in fight or flight mode, reacting before I really took anything in. I lived my life like I was on a game show, like somehow having the fastest reaction was going to win me what was behind door number two, but all it really did was get me into altercations and situations where I was not my best self and I was hellbent on being right, at any cost. I’ve written before about the power of the pause, and that within that pause we give ourselves time to catch up with what may be happening and give ourselves some space so that we can react or take action in a thoughtful and purposeful way instead of just charging at a situation. I had also never taken into consideration my own self-care and never realized that when I don’t take care of myself I have less of a chance of making good decisions and doing the next right thing. All of this is within my power.
When I began my journey in recovery I had to learn to slow things down. I made a commitment to myself to think before I act and react and to not do anything if I was unsure. I learned that it was OK to not know what to do next, or, to not know how I felt about something, and that when I did I could voice that and let others know that I would get back to them. We don’t owe anyone an opinion or answer right on the spot, we can take the time we need to gather our thoughts, perhaps investigate further and then share how we feel and voice what we can or want to do. Life is not a game show, there is no ticking timer counting down to that buzzer that’s going cost us the game, in fact, the more we can pause and think about something the more we will win. And making self-care a priority as well. In my life I make sure I have what I need so I can be my best self, getting enough rest, eating regularly and well, connecting with others like myself, finding those activities and actions in my life that ground me and give back to me, when I am able to practice self-care in my life I can make rational, informed and compassionate decisions. When we react, we’re acting back, in the past, doing what we’ve always done, or those before us, but when we respond, we ponder back, taking in what we’ve learned from our past so we can make an informed and respectful decision or choice for ourselves and those around us.
During this time it is even more important to that time to rest and digest what we are seeing and hearing around us. It’s important to pause before jumping in with feelings that may not be rooted in what is currently going on, but in experiences from our past, possibly completely unrelated. We may not have any control of what is happening but we do have control over how we react to it, and when we take the time to respect ourselves and those around us we are our best selves. We are all here to learn, to help one another, and continue to move forward in our journey, when we jump into action before thinking we hold ourselves back as well as those we are in contact with. When the world seems to be spinning out of control that is the time to rest and digest, you may be surprised how different things may look when you give yourself that time. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you feel like you jump into action before fully thinking things through, or listening to others? Why do you think you do that? How does that harm you? How has it harmed others? When do you do, and regret what you may have said and done later, do you go back and make amends or apologize? How do you do that? If not, why not? How do you feel when you think of those instances? What can you do to remind yourself to pause before jumping right in? Have you tried pausing before responding before? How did that feel? How did that help a situation? What stops you from practicing the power of the pause in all instances? What can you do to increase those times? Take a breath SLAYER and pause, we all can use the time to rest and digest before jumping into another fire.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you