I’ve rarely heard a quote more true or more powerful than Viktor Frankl’s observation (admonition) regarding stimulus and 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 freedom.”
In that space lies our salvation, our freedom, our power, our hope. There may be magic in that space! There’s a lot in that space! The trick, of course, is in expanding that space – expanding the moment and carefully contemplating our response. Grandma used to say “count to ten” before responding. If counting to ten is too much of a stretch, let’s try for a least a breath. Inserting a single deep breath in that space can definitely make the difference between speaking hurtful words, helpful words, healing words, or no words at all.
Lean into that feeling, memory, comment, craving, or event) with curiosity as explained by Dr. Jud Brewer in his TED Talk.
Every stimulus may invite a response, but some are best allowed to pass without a response. Choosing not to respond is sometimes the best response. Again, try for at least a breath in that space. Explore that space with curiosity and you will expand that space.
3 thoughts on “In That Space”
Thank you for this. Have you read Edith Eger’s book, “The Choice”?
Hello! I have heard of Dr. Eger’s book, but haven’t read it yet. Thank you for helping me to “move it closer to the top of the pile!”
Ha ha ha! Always so much to read. Frankl is a friend of hers and appears in the book. It’s not an easy read but it has been very helpful to me as continue to deal with the echoes of trauma.