Response Ability

For some time I’ve been thinking about the concept of responsibility. Perhaps because of my history, training and experiences, I have often interpreted the word in a strict, disciplinary fashion. Nothing wrong with discipline, of course, but my version of the word tended to make me want to avoid the subject. Or perhaps give myself a hard time when things weren’t working out quite right, thinking I am not being responsible enough.

Just recently I took the word apart and understood a lesson many are awakening to recognize. It’s not what happens to us, whether externally or internally, it’s our ability to respond. Maybe we do need to change course but we can care for ourselves during the correction.

Maybe we imagined an obstacle when there really wasn’t one there. Sometimes with a little investigation, those obstacles dissolve right before our eyes. Maybe we took a comment or event too personally when it really wasn’t about us at all. It often isn’t. Maybe present day circumstances have been formed by outworn habits or memories and need to be looked at from a fresh perspective. Sometimes we just need a change of scenery. Maybe we jump too quickly to cause and effect and blame ourselves for past actions. There are lessons in the past, but how are we able to respond in the present?

It’s like training a muscle. Believing in ourselves and giving our best is a solid foundation for learning more about our responses. Eliminating self judgement and replacing it with self worth goes a long way toward deepening our understanding and our ability to respond. Some lessons are harder to learn than others, take more time, uncover more truth. But then suddenly we are able to look at ourselves in the mirror and rejoice in living in our own truth and authenticity.

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