There is a difference between having a reaction, and using a reaction. Unconscious reactivity is a form of low self-awareness — even more dangerous than low self-esteem. Being aware of personal deficits is empowering, compared to no awareness at all, as to why life seems to grant one little favor. Life favors awareness; awareness of every sense and dimension, for through awareness comes choice. Unconscious reactivity makes your choices for you, leaving you feeling bullied by life, and powerless. Reactivity is how 'gluttons for punishment' are held prisoners by their own thoughtlessness. Being oblivious to your own reactivity is unrefined and gluttonous — it's appetite for gobbling up your opportunities has no end. The reactive mind is a monster; it is the feral reflex of animal survival — uninhabited by higher consciousness. Like a traumatized, caged animal convulsing behind bars, the reactive mind and tongue squirms and digs behind clenched teeth to escape, and interrupt. The force of restraint in the tightened sphincter of their pursed lips are aching to blurt their mind's spasm. They are not listening; they are mentally interrupting behind a facade of listening. They are not mindful; their thoughts more akin to seizures of thoughtlessness. To those with no awareness, they may seem attentive, but to those with awareness, they appear neurotic — their face a mountain of ticks. The atomicity of their upset permeates the core of their being, and radiates discomfort, out, and into the core of those in their proximity. The more they force calm, try to be polite, hold their tongue, and feign patience, the more their wounds, tensions, and unease mounts. Their anxiety fades in-and-out, on their oddly poised face, and in their twitching gesticulations, and quirky manner. Their inner turbulence sloshes out of their concealment, in waves of reflex upset, knee-jerk offense, exasperations, eye-rolls, inappropriate laughter, and mental belches of incorrect assumptions, judgements, and hurtful misunderstandings.
— Bryant McGill
post "The monstrous reactive mind, and practical enlightenment"