“A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually. One must fight for a life of action not reaction.
—Rita Mae Brown
All woman in recovery confront their reactive habits in relationships. Whether we came to recovery as a codependent or as an addict, we soon must face how much other people’s behavior has been a cue for our own reactions. There is always a three-part process in any reaction—first, the other person’s behavior; second, a moment of choosing a response; and third, our reaction. But in our spiritual slavery, we don’t notice the choice stage. It feels automatic. It may feel as though the other person made me do it.
No amount of changing on someone else’s part can change us. We are becoming more responsible for our own lives and for our own behavior regardless of others around us. There is liberation in noticing the choice stage. It is tough to follow through on our choices, but when we do, it is truly a sign of a grown woman or man. Then a remarkable thing happens—our self-esteem rises.
Today, I will pause to notice the choices I have in the moment between someone’s action and my reaction.”