Response Ability – the conscious choice to find healthy responses to what happens in life, so that instead of blaming outside forces for what happens “to us” we focus on what we can do. Melissa Kamaze from Mindful Constructs
How is someone responsible for their feelings?
I always wondered that working as a counselor for years. Clients were always confused as well. Yet it was always put that way. Expecially in the beginning discriminating a response from a reation is beyond what they could handle.
“You are responsible for your feelings.” They would be told.
The saying is troublesome because, in my experience, when a feeling was there, it was just there. What then does it mean when someone tries to control what they feel and the feeling keeps coming back. The conclusion I often heard was, “There must be something wrong with me. I just can’t control how I feel.”
It seemed pretty shaming to me.
Think about it like this. You are hooked up to the world’s most sophisticated polygraph machine. You know how they work. they measure body temperature, blood pressure, skin temperature, pulse rate. And what happens when emotions show up? There are changes in skin temperature, blood pressure. You get the picture.
Only this polygraph is different. When these changes happen, the machine is hooked up to one of those Taser things, and if you or whoever is hooked up in that machine starts having feelings – anxious, anger, fear, or others – you get zapped.
How long would most people last? How long would you last? Personally, jut being on the machine would upset me, then if I got zapped, I would get angry and then I would get zapped again.
Let’s say the machine doesn’t measure movement ….
Now, I’m gonna stretch your imagination a little further. What if the machine dowen’t get all zappy when you move. Now, we say, you won’t get zapped if you go out and mow the lawn. You won’t get zapped if you get up and walk out of the room. I know what I would do. I would get up, go out of the room, and mow the lawn.
You see, we can control what we do …
We can easily control what we do with our hands and feet and mouth. That is, we can choose how we respond to strong feelings, even though they are often uncomfortable.
We are able to do nothing when we get angry.
We are able to wait out a feeling before we say something.
We are able to respond by making better choices.
That is anger flexibility.
That is response-ability. We can easily become response-able.
Keep reading and we’ll continue to talk about that. If this is helpful to you, let me know in the comments and then subscribe to the newsletter and you won’t miss a thing.