Whether it’s good or bad it’s still our responsibility.
When we are children our parents are responsible for us. But their responsibilities cease, after we reach adulthood and we become responsible for ourselves. This means not only for the good parts, which are easy to take responsibility for. But also taking responsibility for the parts we may feel are not our fault, or beyond our capacity to deal with. Taking ownership of every event and circumstance in our past and current life is of paramount importance. Life is short enough without wasting months or years in situations that could have been resolved earlier. Taking ownership though, is not the same as taking blame, ownership means taking and having control over our lives. Even if those choices were made unconsciously, and didn’t yield the exact results that were hoped for.
It’s easy to look back on life and blame other people for the situations we find ourselves in. But, we can’t go back and change our upbringing, so it’s time to stop blaming our school teachers and parents for our hang ups. If we want to make changes, we have to take ownership. We have to accept that no one is coming to rescue us and make our lives better. We have to be an active participant in our growth and do our own “dirty work”. Once we take responsibility for our life and work out what we want, it’s time to make the changes. This comes about by thinking and acting with intention, breaking away from our old story and old patterns that have kept us stuck for so long.
The right attitude in taking responsibility.
We have all run across people who radiate an inner light. These people can be found in all walks of life, and seem to be “good people” . They listen well and make you feel valued, you often see them looking after other people, and as they do, their manner is infused with gratitude. They are not thinking about the wonderful work they are doing, in fact they are not thinking about themselves at all. When I meet such a person it brightens my whole day. But it occurs to me, that even though I’ve achieved a decent level of responsibility and caring. I have not achieved that generosity of spirit, or that depth of character. A few years ago I realized, that if I wanted to achieve this, I would have to commit to moral adventures that can form this type of character.
In order to become a capable adult, we have to take and accept responsibility for everything we do and are. It’s no good criticizing other people for what we have or haven’t done. If we want something in life, it’s up to us to reach out for it. Excuses, are rationalizations we make to ourselves about people, events and circumstances. We invent these excuses to defend our behavior, to neglect taking a particular kind of action, or simply as a means of neglecting our responsibility. Excuses are in essence, a means of placing blame for our own internal problems on convenient external conditions, we may find ourselves in.
When we lack control, it’s very difficult to find the motivation to work harder, so our performance suffers. This chain reaction pretty much ensures failure, not just now, but into the future as well. Ancient Romans understood the concept of personal responsibility. After a Roman arch was completed, the engineer who was responsible, had to stand underneath it, when the scaffolding was removed. While you might not get crushed by a giant arch of responsibility, you still have a personal responsibility for the actions you take. If you don’t take steps to get what you want, other people will take these steps for you, which means, this isn’t always going to be in your best interests.
You owe it to yourself and to those around you to take control of your life, otherwise life gets difficult for everyone. Don’t let your struggles define who you are, you are more than your struggles, the future is up to you.