“Look at the word responsibility – “Response-ability” – the ability to choose your response. Highly pro-active people recognise that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behaviour.” Stephen Covey. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
This is my first post from a series of posts on ‘My Responsibilities’.
I wrote previously how I struggled with addressing my needs and wants because of my overwhelming feeling of being responsible. All my life I made sure that I put others first and did the right thing by my husband, my children, my family, my work, and our community. I did what I thought was expected of me. If something did not quite go right, then it was up to me to find a solution to the problem, and to fix it. Even though being ‘responsible’ often brought with it negative feelings of over-work, obligations, loss of freedom and dullness; and even though sometimes I ended up exhausted with everything becoming a struggle; I still felt I had to keep on keeping on. That is what I did. That was being responsible.
There is a flip side to this. It is hiding under the excuse of ‘others’ or ‘my genetics’ or ‘circumstances’ or ‘my responsibility’ to never really having the courage to do what is in my heart. These are the excuses coupled with an overwhelming feeling of thinking that I would be selfish if I ever did what was best for me – ahead of others. I have been using these excuses for not taking responsibility for my own self and my own future.
That was until I had my epiphany, the bolt of lightening that shook me out of the ingrained attitude of mine that I simply have to keep on keeping on. At that point I realised that I had a choice. Part of that choice was to take responsibility for me and my own well-being. It was my responsibility to recognise myself as an individual with my own needs and wants, my own opinions, a right to be treated fairly, and a right to a wonderful future. It was my responsibility to shake my core belief that I was not good enough. It was my responsibility to instill in myself a new belief of my own worthiness for a happy life which did not include continuing the way I had been, slaving away in fruitless endeavours trying to fix things.
In various posts I have written about varying goals of mine to get myself back on track, looking after myself regarding diet, exercise, and having quiet moments of reflection. I had missed the underlying voice within me, probably because it was hidden underneath all the confusion and turmoil I had been thrown into after the separation. I had also been clinging onto what had been my ‘normal’, and not wanting to make any more huge changes to my life on top of the huge emotional upheaval that I had already endured. The voice within me now was questioning my reason and purpose for doing what I was doing and denying myself a better and less stressful life. I realised that I had been working the wrong way round. I had been plodding along doing what I had always done trying to find a purpose in it, rather than working out what my purpose in life was and then planning towards it.
It may not be my highest calling, yet I know that one of my innermost desires is to find true inner peace and harmony. To get myself truly back on track to that calling will involve going in a completely different direction in life. That will mean massive change. That is daunting.
It will require much courage to strive to this goal despite the apprehension and fear that I have on the challenges involved in getting there.
However, it will be done. It will be the best outcome for me and my long-term health and happiness. I will do it for me because I am worth it. It is my primary responsibility.
Image Courtesy [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net