The importance of the pause

In the last week I have listened to an interview with Brene Brown and have been following a course offered by Pema Chodron. Whilst the language and the claim to spiritual truth is vastly different, the message has been identical.

Those moments when you feel yourself ‘hooked’ by some emotional trigger – pause, breathe and try to find a different response.

Such sage advice!

In the last few weeks I have been confronted by some of my own familiar ‘hooks’. When the hook is particularly painful, or makes me feel too vulnerable, the desire to follow the familiar reactionary pattern is almost irresistible.

I may know that it is not constructive, but it feels safe.

It is what I know, and when I recognise the triggering of that particular hook I am almost powerless. And yet…

For once in my life I had someone in the trenches with me. Someone who was willing to stand by me as I battled my inner demons. Someone who wouldn’t let me acquiesce.

Who knows what the ultimate outcome will be, but for once I engaged in the process in a different way. And if I can do it this once, I can do it again.

The longer I live the more I believe that the way in which we engage with the process matters more than the outcome.

In the complex world in which we now live, we need to commit to doing all we can to make a difference. I think that begins will a commitment to daring to pause and allowing for the possibility for a response other than the knee-jerk one.

At least, that’s what I am committed to, if you have an idea that works better for you, I’d love to hear it.

2 thoughts on “The importance of the pause

  1. Mags,
    You continue to write beautifully and with much insight.
    For me, when I get angry or begin to get furious or desperate or other damaging emotions, I try to change the anger or hopelessness into curiosity. That breaks the initial knee-jerk pattern and leads to insight which often gets me through those bad emotional and destructive moments. Maybe that’s just part of being an analytical type engineer.
    Thank you and keep writing.
    You are amazing
    Frank

  2. Mags, thank you for this reminder to me not to withdraw when there are certain triggers. That has been the “safe” response for me but it is not always the effective one. Blessings.

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