I stepped into the scanner at the Honolulu airport. When it beeped, I did my best to contain my irritation. Thinking it was my hair clip, I was caught off guard when the security agent thrust her hand towards my chest.
I jumped back about three feet, surprising both of us. My sudden movement caught the attention of the other security agents.
“I have to pat you down!” she said, more than a little annoyed.
“I know, but you could have said something first,” I responded. Jumping back is not my normal reaction to an airport security agent.
It could have disintegrated from there, but we both took a breath to ward off the impending reaction. In the coronavirus climate, I didn’t want to be touched, and she didn’t want to touch me. We made eye contact and gave each other a brief smile. Her search got done without further weirdness.
That jump was how I knew I was under duress. Despite burying myself in a book, and using my other calm your shit down routines, my feet had left the floor.
My reaction wasn’t ideal, but it could have been worse.
Everything we need to know about our state of mind can be found in the difference between a response and a reaction. But we must take time to notice. If our usual responses are amplified into reactions, try boosting self care in equal or greater proportion.
If you need to boost your self care, consider joining us here. It’s free as long as we need it.