Yes, the subtle but key difference in those two words---React and Respond. Great thought RE.
I react when I allow my feelings to dictate my actions. I immediately take action---some kind, any kind---in order to shut out the sad/bad/fear/helplessness that I feel. I take action for ME, to make myself feel better in the moment. Because I am afraid to feel my own feelings.
When I take the time to respond---to wait, to think, to pray---before I act, allow myself to feel my feelings, having learned that they will not kill me, and I can stand it, then I can take action or not, from a place of what is best for me, right now?
What is reasonable? Am I about to do something for someone that they should be doing for themselves? Am I trying to fix, save, manage or control, yet again? What have I learned? What can I live with, today?
I have had to learn this too, I had been completely oriented towards taking action as well, something I learned early, as a young child, to move out of the potential feelings and do something, anything.........but feel. Codependency is rooted in fear. Waiting, stepped back, refraining, taking time, were all new concepts to me..........my daughter's gfgness forced all those issues out into the open for me to identify clearly and then change it.
One of the miracles of change has been to see how support had been there had I waited........others have been stepping in lately in what feels like droves, to help me, in so many different ways...............as I wait, refrain, let go............I am not doing everything myself, I have so much help. It brings a new feeling of being cared for and loved, safety and a new ability to breathe deeply, let go and rest in the knowledge that everything gets taken care of..........it's a new level of trust in life which I didn't have before. Trust. Trust in myself to respond in a healthy way. Trusting life. I am so grateful for all of this.