Top of the Morning, Creator!
Yesterday marked a transition point into a couple days off; so, I’ll admit it; I did have a bit of a “Just get ‘er done” attitude. But, I guess you dad other plans, Great Spirit. You brought this pretty snowfall, and the morning had a more fun feel and rhythm to it, as the outdoors really looked like a winter wonderland.
Sometimes I think a part of what emerges in these pages is a new look at the words we use and how we use them. Perhaps something that will result is a 21st Century Dictionary Guide to Using Words in a New Way to Transform Your Life. (By the way – that right there is another example of the kind of thing I used to avoid. My hope is that sharing that idea will help me manifest something from it.)
I think of words we use a lot – love, fear, responsibility, success, failure, risk, truth, right, wrong, belief, hope, faith… These words create the framework by which we live our lives. Yet, so often, we narrow or distort our connotation of these words, to fit our patterns of behavior and thinking.
One way we can begin to free ourselves from a life that isn’t what we want, is to challenge the way we define and use these fundamental concepts.
The word I’m considering today is: responsible. A simple definition can begin with responsible being the reason or source of something – Global warming is responsible for the melting glaciers. We also use responsible to denote ownership – the last person leaving is responsible for turning off the lights.
Often, responsibility seems to come packed with shame and blame. Let me disclaim – maybe this is just me and my “baggage,” but…too often, when things go “wrong,” we look for someone to blame – “Well, who was responsible?”
We invoke strategies to avoid the foreboding blame and shame associated with responsibility. Sometimes we sabotage ourselves and fail, to stay small and convince ourselves we wouldn’t be capable to handle more responsibility. We also transfer our responsibility to other people and things in an attempt to avoid culpability.
I get it – just like anybody else, I don’t like hearing “It’s your fault!”
But, you know what? Sometimes it is. And, I think that’s okay. I think it’s another part of daring, and growing, and learning.
Responsibility doesn’t have to be coated in shame and blame. It can mark your understanding of what is truly “your business.” To lay claim to doing the best that you can when doing what you can.
It’s easy to say things like –
“I can’t be happy without this person in my life.”
“My sedentary job is responsible for all the weight I’ve gained.”
“My coworkers are the reason I hate my job. They never do what they’re supposed to do.”
I’m a perfectionist. It’s not my fault; it’s the way I was raised.”
Any of those sound familiar?
I’m certainly not looking to pile on more blame here. It reminds me of what we practice in meditation. We attempt to not attach, as our stream (or torrent!) of thoughts go by. When we notice that we have attached, we want to recognize it and release it; to return to just observing. Too often, though, when we notice our attachment to a thought, we then think – “That’s not okay, that’s wrong.” Which is just another thought we are attaching to. Then we might spiral into “compare and despair,” or other criticisms. At no point is this wrong, it’s just the way our tricky monkey mind works. It keeps hooking us.
Change starts with awareness. By recognizing where we can own the things in our life, we can make true change. How do we own our job, attitude, health, and lifestyle? Can we better things – shift our attitude, and prioritize exercise and healthy eating, with a sense of self-care?
Making our happiness dependent on someone else is a big one. Again, I don’t say this to blame. In fact, I think it’s indoctrinated into our culture. So many fairy tales have white knights rescuing princesses, and stories of the soul mate that makes a person whole. To create that condition, there needs to first be a feeling of depravity and lack, a sense that we are less than whole beforehand; and it can only be remedied by that magically right one person.
It’s messed up, frankly. (I censored myself there.) That philosophy begs for us to feel broken when we are by ourselves. It puts ownership of our wholeness and happiness completely in the hands of another.
I’ve made a contract with the people I love in my life – I’m responsible to care for myself and attend my wholeness, and I hope they do the same.
Then, when we’re together, we share in our connection and happiness. We are not beholden or responsible for each other. We can show up well and ready!
Thank you for your Guidance, Universe!