Things that happen in life may not always be your choice, but how you deal with them is your responsibility. Becoming responsible for our own lives is one of the biggest lessons we can learn and it reaps some of the most amazing fruit!
If you ask 1,000 people if they’re responsible for their own lives, you’ll probably get about 990 yeses. Most people feel they are responsible for their own lives and yet they are unhappy. So, if you’re responsible for your own life and you’re unhappy… you’re not doing a very good job of managing your own life. This is usually when the excuses come… yes, but you don’t understand what happened to me, etc.
If something happened to you that made you unhappy, then you aren’t responsible for your own life, outside circumstances are. If outside circumstances determine how you feel and what you do, then outside circumstances are responsible for your life, not you. The definition of responsibility is: being the primary cause of something and so able to be blamed or credited for it.
We need to gain responsibility over our own lives. Our happiness cannot be based on our external circumstances, our happiness needs to come from within. Of course, outside circumstances can knock us around a bit and can even donkey-kick us every once in a while… it happens. However, if we expect to experience happiness and fulfillment, we have to stop blaming circumstances and start taking responsibility for ourselves.
It’s not easy to look back at your life and see that some decisions you made or paths you chose or situations you put yourself in played a part in where you ended up. It can be painful. Of course, there are circumstances that are out of our control to some degree but these are rare and often happen when we are children and don’t have as much control over our lives as adults do. I’m talking about regular life, day after day.
It’s hard to see that one of the things that played a part in your car getting stolen was because you were in a bad neighborhood and left the keys in it because you were in a rush. Or that the reason you’re in an unhealthy relationship is because you didn’t set any boundaries or leave when things took a bad turn. Or that your children don’t treat you with respect because you don’t respect yourself and never demanded it from them.
These are painful things to look at, I know, I’ve done it. The most important thing is the other side of the coin, though. On one side you take responsibility, on the other side you gain empowerment. You gain the ability to take control over your life and live it the way you want! There’s nothing more empowering than that. And there are not many feelings that can match up to empowerment!
Through the doorway of responsibility, we walk into the first day of the rest of our lives. We now have to ability to design whatever life we choose. We dictate how people treat us, we choose who shares our time and our bed. We control what type of people surround us and what kinds of environments we put ourselves in. Through responsibility, we get the keys to our life back and get to go on whatever cruise we want! What’s better than that?
So swallow that big pill of responsibility, and in so doing come to the understanding that there is no blame, it doesn’t matter what happened in the past. You did what you did because you didn’t know better. You didn’t know you were in the driver’s seat the whole time — but now you do! You ARE in the driver’s seat and now that you know, you’re going to light it up!
The world is your oyster, so start cracking away and find that pearl you’ve been looking for. It’s been inside you the whole time!