responsibility

Our Responsibility

Hello, We are responsible for each other in a way that may not seem obvious.  I don't mean as mother and child, husband and wife, brother and sister.  I don't mean in the way of volunteering by handing out food and clothing to the disenfranchised.  I don't mean by taking care of an elderly neighbor's lawn in the summertime or helping someone across the street.  All of these things are wonderful and natural ways we show love to one another but there is a responsibility that I feel we have failed miserably in meeting.  We don't allow others to be who they are.  We don't give people the space to become who they are and support needed to blossom into their ideal selves.

What we do is quickly give humans the rules to what is right and what is wrong.  Humans get bullied from very early on.  Before we ever find out what someone wants we tell them what is and isn't ok to want.  We set up a system (in every culture) that is  based on things we were told, that were based on things that the ones who told us were told, etc. without giving that much thought to whether or not most people are ok with the system or whether the system actually works.  When someone doesn't fit into the structure that was set up before they existed they are either crazy, evil, an abomination, wrong or a misfit.  There isn't a lot of room to be accepted when you don't fit the norm in most societies.  When we create right we create wrong.  You cannot say something is good without deciding that there are things that are bad.  When you create an extreme you create it's opposite; is this what being responsible for one another means?  To determine who is bad and who is good.  What do we base it on?  What the majority are doing or not doing (that they will admit to)?  What some religious document says?  What happens to those who are wrong in our society?  What happens to the misfits?

I truly believe that we are responsible for those who feel left out, bullied by a society that never gave them a chance;  told that they were wrong for feeling, thinking, saying something that went against what society has determined as ok to say, think or feel.  When we set up a system that automatically rules out certain types of people as worthy in a systematic way (the way that we do in this country) we have neglected our responsibility to love each other as ourselves because we are connected.  We have forgotten that we cannot exist separate from one another.  We are all necessary and important and responsible for each other in a deep way that never touches on aiding with groceries to someone's car… though that is important and it does matter.  However, we are responsible to each other in the way to not cause harm, to not destroy, to not judge.  When we decide that someone is less than we tear a part of them away.  We build up rage that at some point will have to come out.  We create dangerous situations and hazardous environments when we push others down for being who they are.

I believe we need to allow what is.  We need to allow everyone to communicate who they feel they are, what their desires are and how they see the world.  We need to learn boundaries at a young age so we can become aware of where I begin and you end.  We need to help others love who they are and find their own voice.  We need to discuss what it means to be aware.  We need to be very careful with each other's hearts. We need to take ownership of our feelings and not blame others for the things that don't belong to them (like our feelings).  We need to understand when we judge others we are judging ourselves.  We need to understand that we cannot always be comfortable and things aren't always going to be the way we would prefer them to be, nor are people.  We need to understand that it isn't our responsibility to put one another down or to marginalize each other, but to uplift and propel each other forward.  I believe we need to first do this for ourselves, once we are no longer in the direct care of others.  Once we have given ourselves permission to feel what we feel and be who we are without the judgement, we can decide if it is what we want to keep or not.  Acceptance is power; the power to change, the power to heal; the power to move on.  Our responsibility, in my opinion, is to accept each other.  Embrace each other.  To love.

xo

a

Ownership Has It's Privileges

Howdy, I was speaking to a relative about communication the other day.  She had never communicated what she wanted or needed but harbored much anger toward those who weren't meeting her needs.  I tried to give her insight into the idea that no one can be held responsible for anyone else's lack of action.  We are all responsible for ourselves and communicating our own needs.  Yet, through our culture of blame it is much easier to see fault in someone not just "knowing" what you need instead of owning the fact that you have to do the work to communicate (as many times as you have to in order to be heard) what it is you need… even if that means risking not getting your needs met.  See, speaking your truth doesn't mean it will be accepted by others… but you cannot get anywhere without trying, without risking, without speaking.  You most certainly have less of a chance of getting what you need if you never actually admit to having needs.

The fear, however, is so great that we hide behind the idea that people should know this or should have know that.  We actually believe that other people should be mind readers even though we don't do a good job of understanding what someone else wants.  We get angry with each other and literally resent people for not knowing what they were never told.  We argue over things being common sense or not, when the reality is, did they know?  Were they told?  Nothing is really obvious when it comes down to it.  If it isn't explicitly communicated you cannot expect it to be understood (even then you may need to do some work around it).  We spend so little time communicating our needs that we don't truly know how to.  Our fear of not being heard or our fear or judgement that we aren't deserving, mixed with our resentment for not getting our needs met create a scary combination.  It is a wonder how any relationship survives (in my opinion).  How many times have you expected someone to treat you one way or another only to have them do something else?  How did you respond?

We are a culture that blames.  We blame the government, the weather, God (if you have one or more), fast food, alcohol, other people, TV, guns, etc.  I don't believe I have ever turned on the TV or listened to the radio to hear our media discuss how each person contributes to their own personal issues, let alone the world's joys and pains.  I don't believe I have ever overheard a conversation where someone was saying, "I must take a long hard look at myself and what I am bringing to this situation that is perpetuating it."  I have heard that they did this, or they did that or they need to stop doing these things and everything would be ok.  It is no wonder why we oftentimes feel powerless over our lives.  It is no wonder why we go to war or have road rage.  It is no wonder why our world is in such turmoil.  We are all pointing the finger at someone/something else, rarely seeing where we can start to make a shift in the world.

How can you take ownership for yourself today?

xo

a

Move.

Hi there, When you show up things happen.  Generally, when you show up, the things you want to happen, happen.  I sometimes say that I want to win the lotto, followed by, I need to start playing.  The bottom line is, things rarely just fall in your lap, you have to bring opportunity to you by putting yourself in its way.  I know that I am lucky because I work my ass off.

We all have dreams.  We all have hopes.  We all want things to work out in our favor.  What exactly do we do to make our favor, favorable?  Too often I see people make excuses for not beginning something they would like to see finished.  Complaining about a present situation but doing very little to make that something a thing of the past.  Gone are the days of "I don't know where to begin."  After all, we have Google :)  You can literally type anything on a computer and there will be some answer somewhere that may not be the right one but it may get you thinking about possibilities you hadn't thought of before.  Even if you don't google your hopes and dreams you can most definitely ask people you know what they would do… or better yet, you can sit still with yourself and pay attention.

Then you have to act.  Nothing gets done without action.  Complaining, ignoring, denying, blaming and otherwise doing nothing will leave you complaining, ignoring, denying, blaming and otherwise doing nothing.  Even if you start in a direction that you aren't sure of, at least you are doing something.  So often people allow themselves to be paralyzed by the fear of not knowing what the outcome will be (like you can read the future, really), judging a choice to act as wrong/right or because they put the onus on someone else (or something else) to do something for them.  You are the one that can change your life.  No magic pill, no job, no person, no-thing can decide for you.  It is your responsibility to see after your self, tend to your dreams, encourage your hopes and own your decisions.  Your life is a gift, a magnificent experience that deserves more than complacency and fear.

I urge you to move your body, stimulate your mind, make some choices and go for it.  Seriously.  Even if that choice is being still, own it, know that you are the one deciding to be where you are until you decide to be somewhere else.

xo

a

It's All You

"Simply put, you believe that things or people make you unhappy, but this is inaccurate.  You make yourself unhappy."  ~Wayne Dyer Howdy!

Personal responsibility.  This is one of the areas I tend to push others toward.  It is an area that isn't easy to stomach.  We spend our lives blaming others for basically everything.  Our mother, our father, our boss, our boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse.  We put the onus on everyone else before taking credit.  We do the ultimate blaming by putting things in the hands of whatever God or Goddess we believe in and basically counting ourselves out of what happens (good or bad).

What happens when you start to see things as your responsibility, your 'fault'?  When you see that you are the reason, the cause, the creator of your situation, good or bad.  Let's see… is there resistance?  Do you feel annoyed by that idea?  Are you aware of the areas you make other people 'take care' of you?  Maybe you use language like:  "you made me" or I wouldn't have if you had not blah blah blah.

We are built in so many forms with so much diversity of history.  I grew up in a household where we spoke our minds.  We were allowed to feel and express things.  I know many folks who grew up not being able to express their emotions.  If there was someone who was loud and sharing their feelings in a forceful way those who weren't used to that type of expression may react with fear, concern, worry, upset and someone who was used to that type of communication might react with understanding and a feeling of familiarity.  The person expressing themselves wouldn't be doing something different though those on the receiving end would be feeling different things about the exhibited behavior.  Is it possible that each person filters the same experience based on their own history.  Would that mean that nothing originates in the moment?  Most of our reactions to things have to do with what we know, believe, feel, have judgements around or preferences.  Is anyone to blame for how we take something if we decide to take it one way or another based on what we held on to from the past?  Who is responsible for how we are really?

Personal responsibility isn't just about feeling crappy when someone says something you don't like or feeling validated by something someone says.  It is about realizing that you are actually in charge of feeling how you would like to feel or dealing with what comes up when you are triggered.  One of my gifts is that I am a trigger.  I am a bringer of awareness and with that comes some gratitude and resentment.  Most of us have no desire to acknowledge that our ex actually didn't do anything wrong, even if they cheated, even if they broke up with us through text, even if they started dating someone right after the relationship was over.  We choose to take that behavior one way or another… and we most certainly choose to take it personally and make it about us.  That person didn't make you feel any one way or another.  What they did do was share an experience with you that allowed you to find out where there was work to be done.  When you feel triggered, angry, upset, hurt, blaming you are being given information.  You are getting a light shined on the areas where you stumble over loving unconditionally.  You are being shown the areas where you really are selfish.  When you believe things are about you, you are mistaken.  When you are left to take care of you, deal with you, own you, it can be pretty frustrating.  You may begin to look at how much you put on others and how much you let others put on you.  You might start to see the hilarity of guilt and the pain of many relationships that keep us from seeing ourselves honestly.  When you begin to own the fact that you are the reason, no one else, things change.  When you understand your power over your life, your world there is a freedom, a joy, that cannot be put into words.

Find your freedom, love your life, own your sh*t.

"Freedom is the will to be responsible to ourselves."  ~Friedrich Nietzsche

xo

a

"You must take personal responsibility.  You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.  That is something you have charge of."  ~Jim Rohn

You Are Your Responsibility

Hello There,

How often do you feel offended?  How many times a day do you say that something made you feel one way or another?  Do you feel responsible for yourself or do you feel like other people should or should not do something in order for you to feel good or bad (or anything else)?

Today notice how often you ask, indirectly or directly, someone to take care of you, to be responsible for how you feel.  Do you feel like you can actually create happiness for someone else?  Are you responsible for creating the world of those around you or your own world?  How do you hold other's accountable for taking care of themselves?  Do you hold yourself accountable?

I don't mean intellectually.  I am sure many people understand the idea, but how many people live it?  I mean, when you are in the middle of being upset that you didn't get something you wanted, do you chill the hell out and realized that no one owes you anything?  Everyone has the right to choose to do or not do something whether you want them to or not.  I remember when this point was made über clear to me.  I was in counseling with my then girlfriend.  We were having issues communicating and I was very upset that she would sometimes refuse to speak to me.  I remember wanting to go to a counselor so that they could tell her that she had to talk.  Ha!  The counselor sat there and said, "She doesn't have to do anything."  I realized at that moment that I was going about so many things all wonky.  We are gifts to one another not mandates.  We can choose our behaviors and responses.  We are in charge of how we see and react to the world.  How someone reacts or treats us has nothing to do with us!  It is about where they are.  We help by being something to react to, answer to, bounce off of, but ultimately we are working out our inner stuff by dealing with the external world.

Think about this the next time you take someone's treatment of you personally:  Imagine, just before your interaction, that you won the lotto jackpot of 345,000,000 tax-free, discovered the cure for all disease, healed all your emotional wounds, and had the body of your dreams, how do you think you would feel?  Would you feel as hurt, wounded, slighted?  Would you have an easier time brushing it off?  What about when you are having a rough moment?  Do you think it is the fault of everyone else that your feelings about your day aren't yummy?

Please think about taking charge of your life and letting others do the same.  It just might be what we all need.

xo

a