It is hot as hell here.

It was 106º today.

It’s nearly midnight, but it is still a concerning 91 degrees Fahrenheit.

This being said, I’ve just voluntarily made myself some hot tea. Absolutely absurd.

For some reason, I am half comatose the majority of any given day. Forget not being a morning person— I’m not a day person. But if you catch me at night…woo! That is when I’m wide awake. This being the case, I tend to get most of my work done while it is dark…and not a blistering thousand and a half degrees. Actually, my favorite thing to do at night is make a mug of coffee or milky tea and plop in front of my computer to catch up on whatever I’ve been procrastinating about. It is oddly relaxing, really.

I’ve already had my coffee for today, so tonight’s beverage selection was a tea I absolutely love: Yogi Vanilla Spice Perfect Energy. If you’re into tea and like spice-heavy teas like chai, I highly recommend trying it. And if you’re like me and couldn’t sip and gag your way through a chai tea if your life depended on it, I still really recommend trying this particular blend. It reminds me of your traditional chai (due to the chai spices), but it is super mild and lovely with a touch of milk and sweetener.

This Yogi tea has been my go-to picker upper for the last few years. True to its name, it gives me a mellow surge of energy and clarity whenever I drink it. For some reason, I haven’t tried their other tea blends, but you know what? I totally should. They probably work just as well as this one, if not better. Great tea aside, my favorite thing about Yogi teas are the little gems of wisdom they attach to the teabags. Each cup of tea is like a fortune cookie…only it isn’t a fortune cookie…or stale.

…I’m talking to you, Chinese food place that shall not be named. Don’t be giving me extra cookies, making me think you’re “being nice”. You know those things are dry as dirt. The shame!

…I still eat them though. All of them.

Anyhoo, I thought I’d share tonight’s “tea fortune”. I kinda thought it was good advice.

Sometimes there are experiences we go through that disturb our sense of calm and control. We’re just trucking along in life and then BAM!— something suddenly occurs that provokes a sudden and reactive emotional response within us.

Maybe someone cuts us off on the freeway (I mean, screw using a signal or looking for other vehicles before barreling across four lanes of traffic).

Perhaps someone snatches the parking spot we just waited half a century for.

Or maybe you’re the parent of a child who occasionally misbehaves at the worst possible moments. At least, you think they are children. They could very well be wild baboons; it can be quite hard to tell during a tantrum thrown in the grocery checkout aisle.

No matter who you are, there is something in this world that can be done or said to cause you to respond without thinking. And if you’re a normal human being (opposed to an alien, teddy bear hamster or just a downright liar) a hasty reaction may have gotten you into some trouble. You might have made a rash decision out of fear or said something you didn’t particularly mean. If we aren’t careful, it can be so easy to get “caught up in the moment”. It really doesn’t have to be that way though. We’ve just got to remember to act, but not react.

To react is to be primarily driven by emotion… something happens to us, so we then do something in response. It’s automatic and almost instinctive. I guess this kind of thing might have been perfectly suitable for Neanderthals, but we aren’t exactly being chased day and night by saber-toothed tigers. We have time to think before responding. I mean, most situations we encounter are far from life and death…even though we might behave otherwise. Ever seen two people locked in a case of road rage? Perfect example. It’s not inherently life or death, but such scenarios can often needlessly become such.

Although emotions are useful and have a proper function in our lives, they shouldn’t be the driving force behind our day to day decisions. In order to make the decisions that will have the best lasting impact on our lives, we need to be in better control of our emotions. Besides, our emotions can be quite unreliable—they change with the circumstances. While it is perfectly acceptable to feel our emotions and acknowledge them, there needs to be more substance to our choices than automated knee-jerk responses.

To act is to take a deliberate, thought out step in a certain direction. Someone who takes action isn’t being blown in the wind by whatever emotion they are feeling in the moment. Instead, they are using their emotions to determine what is going around them and evaluate how they feel about it. They then consider all of their options and weigh the potential outcomes before consciously choosing the best course of action.

Though we can’t always make perfect choices all of the time, choosing to act instead of react can help us avoid misunderstandings, arguments and regret. So many conflicts are escalated due to individuals reacting to the reactions of others; it can be a never-ending cycle of retaliation if left unchecked.

And for the record, intentional inaction and/or silence is sometimes the best action to take. Although some people may view this response as ineffective or pointless, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Purposeful passivity used in the right situation often requires greater inner strength and self-discipline than flipping someone the bird and blessing them out ever will! It takes a mature individual with a good command of their emotions to choose not to outwardly respond to belligerent behavior. There is nothing ineffective or pointless about someone like that.

No matter what is going on around us, we have an important decision to make. We can blindly react to a situation or we can determinedly act in a manner that will best serve us and those around us.

I hope that this little blurb will help remind you to always choose the latter. ❤

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Written by nellsinaeternum

Just a girl lost in a daydream who is trying her best to color inside of the lines like everyone else, but is finding the act of smearing watercolor outside of the lines much, much more enjoyable.

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