Life has created many secret reactions that live in my mind. Let me explain before you click away to an article with an author that actually makes sense.
Experiences creating secret reactions
I can’t be the only one that has secret reactions. A secret reaction is the thing that happens in your mind when faced with a particular situation. Like when I hear the word “donut”, I get really excited and immediately want a donut and coffee. Or when I trip and fall, I actually think it’s really funny, somewhat embarrassing, but mainly just funny. These are things that most people don’t know about me. They can be silly, like the ones above. But they can also be very real and effect out lives in profound ways.
In the lockbox of my mind, which doesn’t usually get prodded around in, lies these reactions. There are bigger reactions which come out when certain situations present themselves. Sometimes they are good reactions. Fun, playful and exciting.
Negative secret reactions
But, there are bad reactions as well. Such as: If I know my actions are going to negatively effect more than just me. If I make a mistake at work or if I said something that I didn’t mean. These things effect the people around me and it brings about a thought process in my mind that isn’t healthy.
Fight or flight
We all have a fight or flight reaction to difficulties. Some people like to fight through and take head on different problems. They assert themselves and try to figure out the issue. Others shy away from controversy or an issue that needs to be resolved. They ignore that something is wrong because it’s easier than confronting it.
If we can figure out our most natural reactions to difficult situations, it will help us to recognize our secret reactions. Maybe you know your secret reaction, or perhaps your not sure. One way to help figure it out is to look back at 2-3 hard times in your life and ask these simple questions: How did I react? What did I spend my time doing? Did my normal life patterns change? How did I escape or how did I fight?
My secret reaction to something difficult is to tell myself that I won’t be here (physical location) forever, that I can escape the situation and never return. I tell myself that, “I will become self sufficient on some distant island and not deal with all these issues. That life will be easier if I can live in a simpler place” It sounds ridiculous, but that’s one of the reasons these reactions stay secret. You don’t allow them out of your mind, you don’t want to speak them and neither do I.
Why is this important?
It’s important because eventually these thought patterns can start to effect our lives. Things will go wrong in life. Your job, family, friends or church will let you down. You will do something that you didn’t want to do and make mistakes.
Actions, not thoughts define my life
What I am trying to learn is that these thoughts don’t have to define my life. My actions define my life and if I allow a thought pattern to dictate what I do, then I am not living to my potential. Each time I entertain these negative reactions, they grow and start to become real.
Jason LaLone was on staff at YWAM Brisbane and is currently in America working with Truro Anglican Church located in Fairfax, Virginia. He is passionate about discipleship, taking Jesus’ command to make disciples a practical reality that he can live on a daily basis. He loves lasagna, cats and used to dislike Monday's, making him most like Garfield.
Jason LaLone’s previous articles might be viewed at: http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/Jason-LaLone.html