taking responsibility

I Own That: Taking Responsibility

I used to be in so much emotional pain.

I inventoried my life from top to bottom and from beginning to end. In every single instance all the chaos and drama was caused by other people or external circumstances.

That’s right. Every problem I had, had nothing to do with me.

When I heard myself say, “I had nothing to do with it.” I remember thinking, well then who does?

I didn’t make progress in my life while I was in this state.

Instead, I was sinking deeper into denial and self loathing.

I didn’t believe my stuff stunk.

Being completely unhappy and living in emotional pain is the worst.

One of the ways I sought relief was to follow advice I had heard for a long time:

Take responsibility for where you are in your life right now.

The idea of taking responsibly for all of my life made no sense to me. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do.

To move past pain and evolve, I had to stop:

  • trying to change the people around me
  • blaming others and making excuses for what my life had become
  • holding on to familiar pain that had become a way of life

I looked in the mirror, got honestly real, and found the courage to own everything by acknowledging that I:

  • stayed in the relationship long after I knew I should have bounced, because it was cheaper and easier.
  • didn’t speak up because I was scared and/or a coward.
  • caused unnecessary drama by not accepting or understanding a friends’ limitations.
  • continued to use credit cards knowing I was already deep in debt.
  • alienated friends and family by being opinionated and annoying.
  • was weak and apathetic when I ignored letters from the IRS because I didn’t want to face my financial woes.

Acceptance and responsibility moved me towards self-respect: respect for doing the work and for not running from the life I had created.

You may not go from painful to joyful overnight.

Owning your life is a process.

Change is possible and life gets better. Believe that.

Taking responsibility is not giving up, it’s growing up.

When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you will suffer a lot. When you realize that everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.” ~ Dalai Lama

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