The power to choose our response
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” - Viktor Frankl, Auschwitz survivor and Author of Man’s Search for Meaning.
From the hum-drum of our daily lives, to the unimaginable horrors of the Holocaust, these words ring true for all of us, across all circumstances and experiences. In this space lies the power of our own subconscious mind to make the choice. Will I perceive this pain as relentless and unbearable, or can I find ways to turn it down for a while by distraction, or re-focusing its power in a different way? Will I have this cake, or cigarette, because I perceive it as helping me to feel less stressed by my day, or will I choose to go for a brisk, cleansing walk instead? Will I choose to respond with impatience and anger at another’s behaviour, and then blame them for my response, or will I attempt to understand their behaviour so that I might respond instead with empathy, compassion, patience, or perhaps even concern, as I would hope they would do for me if circumstances were reversed?
If our power, our strength and our safety come more from making a positive, empowering decision to learn and grow from every experience, than from seeing ourselves as a victim of circumstance with little control, then which would you choose? Through the power of our subconscious minds, it is possible and achievable to begin to find it easy and effortless to move forward with the freedom of a positive growth mindset, rather than one that keeps us stuck.
We cannot always control our circumstances, experiences or the world around us, however perhaps the only thing that we can control consistently is our response. The way that we choose to perceive a situation, interpret an event, and see ourselves, in other words, the way that we choose to think will determine how we feel, and the way that we feel will determine how we respond in our minds and in our bodies.
Within the deeper part of our minds, on the subconscious level, we store not just our experiences and our memories of those experiences, but also our interpretation of them, the meanings we have attached to those experiences, and our interpretation of the motives of others behaviours toward us. Our beliefs and expectations will act like a filter, deciding the shade of emotion and meaning we attach.
By becoming more mindful of the power we have at our disposal, in our own minds, to choose our response at any moment, we can learn and grow even from the most harrowing of circumstances. Although many circumstances we find ourselves in may not be of our choosing, our freedom lies in enacting our choice to decide for ourselves our response. This process is made easier by focusing our attention and control, through hypnotherapy and relaxation, to take back internal control of our thoughts and our emotional and physical responses to free ourselves, from the inside.
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