There has been some very interesting research within the last years concerning the workings of the brain. Generally speaking, especially in the west, we pride ourselves in thinking that we are logical creatures who work with reason. Not so!?! What research has been finding is that most of our responses are emotional ones rather than logical, considered and reasonable ones.
The reason? The inbuilt mechanism of the brain of ‘flight or fight’ is still in operation and hasn’t been upgraded with the times. In ancient times situations happened in which it was essential to either run for your life or stand and fight. This was not about reason or logic, it was an instant and emotional response.
The problem? The continuation of this mechanism today means that when we ‘see’ something our emotions are triggered instantly- so we have already said or done something before we have thought it through. Then we say: Why did I say that? I shouldn’t have said that.
The solution? It in fact only takes our brains about half a second to process an event so allowing us to think logically and come up with a considered response. So the choice we have here is to learn to step back for that half a second so as to pause and reflect before I respond or to carry on reacting and then mopping up the mess created. The cleaning up of the messes from instant responses can take a lot of effort and take quite a while to put right, when all I needed was to step back for half a second. I need to be able to take that step back if I want to go from just seeing and reacting to seeing, reflecting and responding.
A considered response is one that is filled with warmth and love based on understanding, and not just an emotive reaction.