While I believe our involuntary reactions are just that — involuntary — I submit we have a chance to change our voluntary ones. My son and I were chatting today, and he suggested that the way we deal with conflict is with us at birth, maybe even in utero. I like that idea.
It not only suggests that we did not choose to react to situations as we do, but also that our parents may have less to do with how we end up than we think. (Or take credit/blame for…hmm. A lot of talk shows would end if that were true, eh?)
Again, as often happens when we examine our thoughts, what surfaces is that no blame is — or indeed, can be — attached. No ‘good’ or ‘bad’. How we deal or not deal with things is not a moral issue; it is merely a matter of chance.
What we can do, however, is note our particular patterns of behavior. We can listen to that Thought Child who says, ‘I want to hide’ when confrontation arises. Maybe your Thought Child stands up to authority and says, ‘No way!’ (Our Children should meet.)
However we do it, we can realize that how we do things is not a matter for lamentation or gnashing of teeth. It’s either effective or ineffective as a method for achieving inner peace and serenity. If we don’t like how we react to things that come up on a regular basis (personality clashes at work, domineering parents, whatever), we have the power to change that, to learn a new skill, to learn a new way to adapt. Humans are quite remarkable beings, and our ability to shine that light behind the stories we cling to is one of our most remarkable abilities.
That, and the opposable thumb, of course.