February 05-A, 2023

Charlotte Skyline 08/26/2017 Oil Paint Rendered — Charlotte, North Carolina
Our response is the most important thing.

What happens to us does not matter nearly as much
as what we do in response to what happens to us.

We make responses to every situation as it arises,
and make responses to our responses,
all day long,
every day.

If we improve the quality of those responses,
we will improve the quality of our life,
and the quality of the lives of those about us.

We are quick to rate the quality of our situations,
and the quality of our days.
We generally pay no attention to the quality
of our responses.

We grumble and complain about how our life is going
and all we have to put up with
and how nothing ever goes our way,
but rarely say anything about 
how well--or poorly--
we are responding to what goes on in a day.

Forget what happens!
Focus entirely upon your response!
Attend your response
in every moment of every situation.
Facial expression,
body language,
tone of voice,
choice of words,
clarity of position in relation to what happened,
type of emotion being communicated,
position being expressed,

Attend the response to your response.
How was your response received?
What did the response to your response
center on about your response?

Thoroughly examine every aspect 
of the situation
following the initial event.

How could your initial response 
have been altered to shift/transform
everything that followed?

No defending/excusing/explaining/justifying!
Just seeing!
Just knowing!
Just understanding!
The power of your initial response 
in shaping everything that happened.

How we respond/react to an event
determines, or strongly influences,
everything that follows.

Practice having such an influence
by altering/modifying/adjusting/changing
how you respond to events that happen
throughout your day.

Begin grading your response to what happens
and your responses to the responses to your response.
Be attentive.
Be awake.
Be aware.
Be alive to the moment you are living,
and to the way you are living it.

For always and ever!


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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