Taking Responsibility

This summer Dakota and I have gotten into the habit of taking an early morning walk while the rest of the family sleeps on. It’s become sort of a meditation, because he is a meanderer and forces me to slow down.

I thought about this post and what I wanted to write about. The idea of responsibility came to mind as I had been journaling about others taking responsibility. In order to understand what someone else is going through, I try to put myself in their place as much as I can. Even if I cannot completely understand what they are feeling or going through, I can at least empathize and appreciate their feelings.

This idea of taking responsibility for our own actions, past digressions, and happiness keeps coming up. So in order to walk in someone else’s shoes, I thought about my own life. Am I truly taking responsibility for what happens in my life? Do I believe outside forces are responsible for my happiness? Do I blame others wrongfully when something doesn’t go my way?

That’s a lot to think about. On Shark Tank last night (Luke loves this show), one of the investors refused a woman’s product, because he felt she was all over the place. She worked out a lot, had three kids, was trying to market this paleo bar, and also carried another job. He said she put so much effort into everything, that she wasn’t good at the one part they were interested in. She was spread too thin. Now it’s a bit hard to focus on only one aspect of your life when you are a parent and still want to be successful in a career. But she seemed to have a few careers going.

Photo by Alysia Thomas

My husband and I looked at each other. We both pointed our fingers at me. Very often I blame my lack of time for my inability to get work done. But if I really look at it, I have so many projects on the table, it is hard to be successful and not feel harried. Instead of blaming the 24-hour day, I need to look at my priorities, my purpose and goals, and cut out what isn’t serving me anymore. That’s hard to do when I feel responsible for others.

There’s that word again. In a sense, I’m not taking responsibility for what happens in my life. I’m letting others or situations dictate it. And I’m also taking responsibility for others when it’s not my job. But I’m a fixer and a nurturer, so it’s very difficult for me to let others fall. In the end, however, I’m making it worse for them. Everyone needs to grow by failing and getting up on their own.

On a positive note, I know I am responsible for making myself happy and so surround myself with those I love and who love me. Those who empower me and make me laugh. The hard part is making those changes when we aren’t very happy. Knowing what it is and making small changes may be enough, but sometimes we have to take a leap of faith and follow our own path, not others.

As you can see I have a bit of journaling to do about this responsibility topic, but it can wreak havoc on our lives if we don’t take responsibility for ourselves, own it, and move forward.

Are you taking responsibility for what is happening in your life right now? Do you feel you are responsible for your own happiness? If yes, what do you do to create that happiness? If no, who do you feel is and why?

Do you blame others when things go wrong or do you accept your role, take action, apologize if necessary, and move forward? How do you feel either way?

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