I heard it said recently that the gap between thought and action is meaning...the meaning we apply to the thought that then causes the action or vice versa. At least that's how I interpreted what was said. The source of this idea was none other than Viktor Frankl's quote regarding the gap between stimulus and response.
So, given my quest to be conscious, I pondered this thought. Is it true for me? Do I do apply meaning between my thoughts and actions? I think I do. In some cases, I may not apply meaning, but rather "label" the thought or action.
There are many instances where applying meaning is valuable and necessary. One example is when we make mistakes. Meaning should be applied to mistakes to understand why they were made in hopes of preventing the same mistake in the future.
There are many instances, though, that don't require meaning be applied. For example, when someone declines an invitation to a party we're hosting. Meaning does not need to be applied in this case, but often times we will. We'll take it personally, i.e., they don't like us. Or, we'll contemplate that we've offended them somehow.
In my own life, I see this more frequently when my daughter and I have arguments. She's eight and has mastered how to push my buttons. I say that in jest (kinda), because it's likely the meaning/label I've applied to her behavior is what's setting me off vs her actual behavior. For example, when she gets fiesty and decides to speak in a tone that's not kind/fair, I can feel disregarded, unimportant and sometimes disrespected. These feelings are likely evoked because of the meanings I've applied (she knows better, she doesn't have to speak/behave like that, etc). I get irritated because of how I feel, which is possibly a result of the meaning/label. If I didn't apply meaning to what she said, and just acknowledged her actions without applying meaning, I may not get bent out of shape.
Going through life without applying meaning is likely quite difficult. I'm not sure if our brains are capable of accepting events/occurrences/interactions as they are, without making "sense" of them. Maybe it can, but takes a great deal of discipline and practice.
I'll continue to ponder. In the meantime, what are your thoughts?
Be open to what comes.