Perhaps Responsibility Is The ONLY Path To Freedom
by Jandy Anderson
The phrase: ‘take responsibility’ echoed through my childhood. Responsibility in our house meant doing your chores. It meant turning off the TV. It meant not complaining. In retrospect, I am impressed and grateful that my parents ‘harped’ on this significant statement.
And yet, I think none of us in the household understood what it means to be fully responsible.
When my parents said in that parental voice to ‘take responsibility,’ I felt deflated. I felt burdened. But with my current understanding of responsibility, it seems to me that responsibility is the only path to freedom. The type of responsibility I am meaning here, is self-responsibility.
In my experience self-responsibility means that no one owes me anything. I cannot blame anyone for my experiences. I cannot blame my parents. I cannot blame my partner. I cannot blame my boss. I alone am responsible for my experience.
I also am not responsible for the experiences of those around me.
If there is a challenge, that challenge is my opportunity to learn something. If someone gets angry with me, well then I have an opportunity to respond and if the anger throws me out of my centre and I loose my feet from under me, then there is clearly something in me to work on. If I am not being treated well, it is my job to improve my situation. Everything happening in my life is a reflection of me. If I want to be loved and appreciated and admired, then that’s what I have to give myself.
If I am jealous, it is my responsibility to be honest about it. It is my responsibility to work with it, so that I can come out of that mechanical and destructive habit of possessiveness and competition. It is my responsibility to accept myself as I am. Self-judgement is a way to deflect away from self-responsibility. Self-judgement is destructive towards yourself. How can you possibly stand strong if you are undermining yourself with negative internal assaults?
If I am afraid, it is my responsibility to feel the fear. If I am successful, it is my responsibility to give myself credit for my success. If I have something to say, it is my responsibility to speak up. There is no one else but me who can speak my unique truth.
When I am being self-responsible and taking care of my own needs, I find those around me become magically more generous towards me. It happens with the dropping of expectations, which is a natural consequence of self-responsibility.
Take a moment and consider a conflict that you tend to come back to, one you ruminate on and cannot quite let go of. Contemplate how you could to take more responsibility for yourself within that conflict. Are you holding back speaking your truth in the situation and is speaking up for yourself something you are ready to take responsibility for? Can you see any expectations or needs you are putting on someone or something outside of yourself? If so, is there any way you can either drop the expectation or need or fulfill it yourself?
If you truly want to come out of a conflict, self-responsibility will give you everything you are looking for, and more.
Self-responsibility is a gift to everyone around you. It enables you to give the best of yourself to those you love. And it is surely freeing to those around you when you do not put your needs on them or blame them for your experiences! I believe there is no inner conflict that cannot be resolved by taking responsibility for yourself and dropping your expectations of others.
Self-responsibility takes diligence and practice. In my experience, developing it is a gradual process that requires honesty and courage. But it is the most liberating quality I have ever developed. And while I still have a lot more to learn, learning this much has been profoundly rewarding.
I am free in direct proportion to how self-responsible I am.
Jandy Anderson is a Dalian Method Facilitator and offers online appointments on Saturdays. Click here to book an appointment with Jandy.