In many of my Therapy sessions with clients, I have realized that as soon as I mention
“Take 100% responsibility for yourself”, my clients cringe and withdraw into themselves.
They feel “attacked.” I have realised that “Responsibility” has become a very heavy word. It seems to carry a lot of burden and therefore naturally, people shy away from it. Responsibility to me is “My ability to respond to situations, circumstances, people and feelings in my life.” The choice lies with me to respond in a mature way or in an egocentric way. In a light-hearted manner or a serious manner. We need to act in a way that eases the situation and positively leads to a meaningful solution for all – a win – win. A solution that leaves everyone happy and wholesome as far as possible.
Clearly we need to understand what “Responsibility” is. Is responsibility to self as important or more important than to others?
In my years of work in the field of wellness and holistic living, I have realised that responsibility first stems from “Oneself.” Responsibility starts with us and then extends to others. It is easier said than done! From the moment we are born our parents (caregivers), take over our lives. The way we should walk, talk, behave, choose, decide etc. everything is decided for us. This goes on till we are under our parent’s roof!! so to say. It doesn’t come as a surprise then, that we don’t understand “responsibility” unless we were lucky to have “responsible” parents who let us think and act independently and make mistakes! A certain amount of freedom and autonomy is required to understand and become responsible.
The bottom line is that “I am responsible for the way I live and NOT for the way others do.” I own what I do, what I say, what I think, how I behave and all of that which is me. For me, “Responsibility” is ownership. Once we understand this fundamental fact, we will become more aware of everything we do.
Once we are accountable to ourselves, we start taking responsibility for our relationships, careers, behavior, reactions, mistakes and not blame others! As we will be doing things that we love in every sphere of life, we will be happier, more satisfied and aware individuals. Isn’t that the aim of life?
The range of benefits of being responsible for yourself are:
- You become more confident
- You solve more problems
- You experience better relationships
- You become a role model
- Improved decision making
- Happier and satisfied individuals
Another important fact to remember is that taking responsibility has to be for positive and negative actions both. Usually, people love to take responsibility for positive outcomes but try and find scapegoats for negative outcomes. Being responsible, is about being positive and solution oriented. It is not a sign of weakness to take responsibility for one’s mistakes. It is a sign of supreme confidence.
Once we are habituated to taking responsibility for ourselves, we will find it easy to extend it to the societal level. Being responsible, workers, individuals, parents, leaders, teachers, etc. is not easy. It requires a sense of conviction and belief in oneself.
You have to trust your own actions, but at the same time gracefully accept the faults if you fail.
Stand up tall again and move on positively. Taking responsibility creates long term resilience and a sense of purpose. It goes without saying that taking on responsibility has to be done in tune with your skills and maturity.
In today’s times when we see that a virus has taken over our lives, who do we hold responsible for this? If we rationalize in a cool and calm way, we will realize that it is the collective responsibility of everyone! If we had better taken care of ourselves and the planet, we would not have fallen prey to this pandemic. This requires deep introspection. If all of us had acted with mindfulness and awareness a lot of suffering and strife could have been avoided.
As J. Krishnamurthy, the philosopher has beautifully said:
“Whatever happens in this field of consciousness, we are responsible for it. That is, if I am violent, I am adding violence to that consciousness common to all of us. So I am profoundly responsible: either to contribute to that violence, confusion and terrible division, or, as I recognise deeply in my heart, in my blood, in the depth of my being, that I am the rest of the world, that I am mankind, that I am the world and the world is not separate from me, then I become totally responsible, which is rational, objective, sane.”
The choice lies with us. Let us act responsibly and look after ourselves with utmost care and respect. Let us be generous with our love, time, money, kindness and compassion, keeping in mind safety first in this time of need. Let us take our actions seriously, so that our children and the future of mankind remembers us as RESPONSIBLE AND MATURE. Let us value this life, which a beautiful gift and live it with grace.
Neha is a Practitioner of energy healing modalities like Thetahealing, E.F.T., Mindfulness, Meditation, and Family constellation. She has 20+ years of experience in holistic healing.
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