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“Responsibility” is NOT a Four-Letter Word!

IMG_0106In another post, “Mother,” I talk about responsibility not being a four-letter word. For reasons which will soon be clear, the subject bears further discussion for your consideration.

The word itself generally (almost always, actually) evokes decidedly negative thoughts and feelings. Think about the last time someone told you that you were responsible for something. Was it a good thing that you were being praised for? Or was it for something bad that you had done? Somehow you had failed. I bet most of you will say it was said in a negative tone and context.

When we take responsibility for the environment, we are better able to create a better future. The same concept applies to love relationships. Owning the bad as well as the good leads to more good! (Taken on a trip to Patagonia, AZ.)

Words usually associated with someone “taking responsibility” include blame, punishment, failure, must make up for what was done, loss of self-respect, regret, feeling stupid, wish to avoid…..well, the list can go on! And yet, I have learned that taking true responsibility for one’s actions and one’s life can lead to profoundly wonderful opportunities and experiences of the best kind!

Before we go further, let me explain what I mean by “taking responsibility.”  Simply put, you were there. Regardless of what happened–no matter how things turned out, good or bad–you acknowledge that you were there when “it” happened.

If you don’t take some ownership of situations in which you find yourself, you won’t be looking for how you got there in the first place, let alone how to prevent the situation from happening again.

In any situation, there can be multiple contributing factors, especially when more than one person is involved. And as I’ve said before, not all sins are created equal. But when you say someone else was responsible for a negative situation, you’ve just made them more powerful than you! And if they’re more powerful than you are, you are handicapped in trying to resolve the situation you’re in, let alone improve your life!

Here’s an assignment: Without getting into all the drama and negative things people have said to you (or that you’ve said to yourself), simply get the idea that somehow, someway, you placed yourself at the location of a situation that turned out badly. Don’t, yet, try to figure out what led to being there. Just be willing to own the fact that you were there. Period.

You might feel temporarily worse–after all, if it was easy, you would have done it already. But if you let that sink in–the fact of you being there–you might be surprised to feel a bit better about yourself and your ability to control your destiny.

Individuals who are willing to take responsibility for their actions tend to have more self-respect. And self-respect is a powerful attractant to others who may want to get to know you, as a friend, a lover, or soul mate.

What do ethical people and criminals have in common? Stay tuned! More in my next post!

One Response to “Responsibility” is NOT a Four-Letter Word!

  • Eve says:

    Couldn’t agree more. It is hard to take responsibility when you see someone else has caused something and you were or became a part of it, but in the end, what matters is how do we solve it? And if you care about the person, you will help them overcome any barrier and live more happily.

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