Our Choice of Reactions Reveals Our Coping Mechanisms

We all go through something every now and then, that is a given. As a believer of the Yin and the Yang, I am now making a conscious effort to always understand that they do co-exist. But, of course, I wasn’t always like this.

Blind Optimism

I was once happy-go-lucky and I must admit that the bad experiences that I have had meant little to me then. I was almost always optimistic yet childish. Life was all fun, and that was a coping mechanism by itself. I believe that aside from only always looking at the bright side, I was actually ignoring all of the darkness in my life. I left it alone, I don’t think about it, and so I was not really facing the true music at all. I paid no mind to what was supposed to make me sad in life. I chose to see and concentrate on the beautiful things, which was very unrealistic.

It’s like living in a fantasy world.

All sunshine and rainbows without regard to the rain. But, those were my happiest years. Just like how an innocent child would actually look at the world. All is good and wonderful.

Bitter Pill

After a while, the blind optimist in me has taken its toll. The magic has worn out. What used to work in younger years did not match with the new set of experiences at a later age. Responsibilities become real, even if it’s just for yourself. Your identity starts to matter. You start having the feeling of unease for an uncertain future. You start to have so many dreams, plans, and aspirations. And when your bubbles get burst, the pain becomes too real to ignore. And then you not only start getting drenched under the rain, you finally recognize the dark clouds looming over you and feel the rage of the storms that you get caught in.

Once upon a time, you were all smiles.

But reality check, you now have what they call the Resting-Bitch-Face. And it’s not just the facade, this came from the inside out. And so, to ward off anything harmful that is coming your way, you become a warrior ready to pounce on anyone who threatens to disturb your peace. You become guarded, cautious, and will outsmart anyone who tries to outsmart you. Because of trust issues, you have strengthened your fortress. But then again, nobody gets in. And those who betray you, must get out of your life. You begin to refuse and push toxicity away. Then one day, nobody gets close. You’ve shut yourself off and shut your heart down. You became somebody else, someone who protects your own interests at all cost. And that price was very high, like the walls that you’ve built around you.

Balanced Perspective

After enjoying the good and getting defeated with the bad, you get to a point of acceptance. You come face to face with the reality that good times may not last, but so do the bad times. That the world may be full of bad people, but there are those that have good hearts. That good situations come and bad circumstances go. And as to how long all of these would stay in your life, would totally depend on your reaction. Our choices and decisions after the choices and decisions that we have made, matter the most. It’s a series. It’s a continuous string. It only stops when you quit. And you can still turn things around, if you so will it. You see, it’s a chain reaction.

So, choose your reactions wisely as you age.

And that is what maturity is all about. Experience the good and enjoy, experience the bad and learn. Life will always come in peaks and valleys. What goes up must come down. What was once low, will be taken higher. And it’s a cycle that never ends. So take life for what it truly is. Don’t ever think that you’ll be happy every day. And no, you don’t have to be always sad either. Get a balanced perspective on things. Both of these are just normal parts of daily living. It is what it is.

Whoever we are today, is whoever we choose to be. Whatever we have now, is what we have decided to work on. Accept “Hellos”, and let go of “Goodbyes”. Find happiness by not holding on to past hurts. Life is still beautiful, regardless of moments that are painful. What happens to you, will never define you. Yet, always remember this, your choices will always make you.

So, what kind of person are you making today?

By the way, a short getaway might also help.

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38 comments

  1. Lavern Moore

    You are right about how our reactions tell us what coping mechanisms we have access to. I took me awhile to learn this.

  2. Tessa

    This is something that I have found to be true as I got older too. Seeing the world as it is and accepting people as they are is both hard and very freeing!

  3. Adrienne

    I too have traveled from one perspective to the other. I try to be optimistic and see the good in people and situations but as I’ve seen more of the darkness the world offers, I try to accept it and move on rather than let it paralyze me and swallow me whole.

    1. CA

      Glad to know that the phases that I’ve gone through are normal. Life experiences can really change us. So it’s really important to choose which type of change we allow into our lives. 🖤

  4. Josephine

    This is great. We’ve all been through something that has defeated us; but some of us rise from it and some of us wallow in it. I have always chosen to live above it. I too believe that we can choose how to react to something, our choice is the only thing that we truly have!

  5. littlemisadvencha

    people notice and I too as well that when something came up, i easily shift to finding solution if there’s a problem. i guess this is why im coping up well. neglecting unnecessary dramas help too. haha

    1. CA

      Unfortunately, not all people are the same. Due to differences in experiences and circumstance. Not all problems require solutions. Sometimes you just need to let off steam. 🖤

  6. Polly Amora

    I think I’m more on balanced perspective, at least most of the time. Whenever something comes up I always see the ‘bright side’ of things and I also notice the bad things but as much as possible I try to be logical and just move on since I cannot do anything about it except to accept it. Thank you for this insightful post!

  7. maximdsouza87

    I recall the quote from Viktor Frankl, who survived 4 concentration camps. “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.”

    The situation has little to do with how we feel. It is our response that defines our emotion and actions.

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