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Taking Responsibility for Yourself By Ann Christine Johnson
Response-ability is the ability to respond to all that is happening around you and all that is happening in your life.
It is the ability to respond positively and creatively to the many challenges of life: change, loss, bereavement, infirmity, disease, accidents, old age; to other people’s choices of behavior; and to the many frightening and disturbing things that are happening in this world of ours, instead of reacting or over-reacting to everything.
Many people today feel pressured and overwhelmed by work, family and financial commitments. They haven’t yet learned to take full responsibility for their behavior. Often they lose control, reacting and over-reacting to things happening around them.
Usually there is the tendency to blame others for their discomfort, instead of looking within for the source of their unhappiness.
When you can learn to observe and change your part in relationship patterns; when you can learn to stop taking things so personally; when you can detach from the petty irritations of life, other people’s flaws and all forms of negativity (fear, anger, resentment) then you will be able to be more in control of yourself and your life.
Personal responsibility means being responsible for your own thoughts, feelings and actions; for living your life with integrity; and for monitoring your own feelings to determine whether you are still connected to Source Energy (God, Universal Love), or not.
For fostering and protecting your own emotional and psychological health; for your own personal and spiritual growth; for facing your fears and managing your life in ways that will prevent burnout; for how you allow the past and other’s behavior to affect your current level of happiness. It means being responsible for the way that you behave around others.
When someone says something that evokes a strong reaction in you, this is because they have pressed a button for you. This means there is something within you that has yet to be resolved.
There maybe be a hidden hurt or fear (lurking unknown to you) somewhere below the surface of your consciousness waiting for someone or something to trigger it; or there maybe something within you which has finally come to the surface to be resolved.
The strong reaction on your part gives you an insight as to what needs to be resolved or healed.
Although it is inappropriate to hit out at another person, being human you will react from time to time. By apologizing to the other person for your behavior, and meaning it; by resolving to make every effort to avoid any future outbursts, you are taking responsibility for yourself and your behavior towards others.
Don’t be overly responsible for other people in any aspect of their lives, and don’t allow others to dump their responsibilities and problems onto you. Other people’s choice of behavior in any given situation is up to them.
By interfering, becoming too involved or protecting others from the consequences of their actions, you may be preventing others from making progress in their lives.
Steer clear of “psychic vampires” – ordinary people who, lacking in vitality, drain healthy people of their energies, usually with the unconscious intent of doing so. Steer clear of chronic complainers, the chronically angry, fault finders and blamers. Being around such persons will exhaust you.
If you spend your time taking responsibility for yourself and your own life then maybe you can teach those around you to do the same.