Responding with Responsibility

Responsibility: the word alone makes me tense up. In fact, I couldn’t even remember the topic I’d decided to write about today. Ah, responsibility, I’m beginning to understand that you are my friend.

To the outside world I’m sure I appear very responsible and the truth is, I am… but lately I have come to understand responsibility on a much deeper level and I’ve discovered that the more responsible I become, the more I begin to see my irresponsible ways. Ouch.

At the moment I am looking after a house, a bird and two dogs for friends on their honeymoon. When my partner and I accepted this responsibility, we knew that we would take care of the place as if it were our own, and we knew that the way we lived in the house would be felt by the family that lives there.

Day two of our housesitting adventure signalled a sleepless induction into the wild world of dog guardianship when our new charges decided it would be fun to bark… all night…. non-stop…. no breaks. In the morning I was plotting dog murder but my gorgeous partner reminded me that the dogs were simply reflecting something to us. Rather than choosing irresponsibility, it was time to up the ante and bring more love to the house and its occupants.

For context, the dogs we were charged with are rescue dogs from dubious and unfriendly backgrounds, and although their current owners love them to pieces and have nursed them back to health, some scars still remain. We brought a deeper understanding to the situation the dogs found themselves in, knowing that having a temporary new family was a big adjustment for them.

We began to walk the dogs twice a day, morning and night, and we did this religiously. We made time to connect with them and truly support them through what was for them (and us) a challenging time. On day three the vomiting started (for one of the dogs). Soon after it was clear that someone was no longer in control of any bodily functions (thankfully, one of the dogs again). Something was very wrong and it was time to go to the vet.

I was faced with another moment to ponder responsibility; how do I balance my responsibility to show up to work with my responsibility to care for an animal that needs medical attention? It was a no-brainer. The dog needed professional help. Off to the vet we went.

I explained the situation to my boss and my predicament was received with understanding. I was able to get much of my work done from home while I nursed gastro dog back to health. It was up to me to ensure my work didn’t fall behind. I was being asked to take responsibility on many levels, and it felt great.

And those twice-daily walks? They supported far more than just the dogs. My partner and I discovered that this time together, walking the dogs, also allowed us to deepen and strengthen our relationship with our bodies, ourselves and each other. This experience enabled me to see that responsibility is supportive rather than burdensome.

My dog/bird/house sitting experience taught me a lot about my relationship with responsibility. In the end, walking and connecting wasn’t enough to guarantee a good night’s sleep and this showed me that everyone (including dogs) needs space to be where they are at. We cannot always change other people, dogs or the circumstances we find ourselves in, but if we see every aspect of life as a reflection, we can respond with responsibility.

By Leonne Sharkey – Melbourne

Related Reading:
Taking True Responsibility for my Behaviour
True Change: Self-Responsibility Inspired by Universal Medicine
Responsibility Redefined – it’s in the Quality and not the Action!







501 thoughts on “Responding with Responsibility

  1. Just imagine, if we were brought up to understand, indeed to feel, responsibility was not in the least bit onerous, but rather in accepting an understanding of what life is actually about.

  2. I think it’s awesome how you totally committed to doing all you felt was needed and didn’t give up even though it didn’t bring a certain result (a restful night’s sleep!).

  3. I feel responsibility does have a supportive quality to it and when we are willing to open up and respond with honesty we support ourselves to learn and evolve from every opportunity and in and every reflection we experience.

  4. When we bring in responsiblitiy into our lives we cannot but look at the reflections our daily life are giving us and although the word responsibility comes with everything we have loaded it with your blog feels very playful and light, just the way to live!

  5. Responding with responsibility is very supportive, and I find anything else can be very chaotic especially when we take short cuts or ignore what the messages are communicating to us. After reading your blog Leonne, it makes more sense to take responsibility for life in every way.

  6. Your blog is very funny, I know it is a serious blog but it reminds me that responsibility does not need to be serious or a drama, it simply needs to be a responsive and responsible conversation.

  7. What is so true about this is that as you say, every aspect of our life is a reflection. this can seem quite daunting at the start, but actually it is a revelation of great delight and reawakening.

  8. “but if we see every aspect of life as a reflection, we can respond with responsibility.” We have the opportunity to choose to evolve with greater honesty when we respond with responsibility.

    1. I agree Danna, it is very simple when we choose to take responsibility. Our need for individuality is what makes things complicated and we are then more likely to avoid responsibility.

  9. This is a really cool blog that brings understanding of how we can respond in every given situation, we have the opportunity to increase the love or we have the opportunity to go in on this.

  10. “We cannot always change other people, dogs or the circumstances we find ourselves in, but if we see every aspect of life as a reflection, we can respond with responsibility” – I really love this, Leonne. I can see how my ‘responsibility’ can sometimes be outcome driven, and how that makes ‘responsibility’ a burden, a desire to own and control a situation, and not true responsibility.

  11. Responding to life with responsibility is actually super supportive and deeply loving. Complete opposite to what I used to think responsibility to be.

  12. Responsibility is a beautiful bedfellow. I could definitely do with spending more time considering how much more responsible it is possible to be if I were to get out of the way and really consider all the people in my life and all around me.

  13. I now more deeply appreciate that every reflection we have offers us the opportunity to deepen our awareness and learning in our evolution.

  14. I love the humorous, but very real comment about how the twice daily walks supporting you as much as (more than) the dogs. Having this rhythm is a massive boon, and while you think you might be doing it for the dog’s sake, perhaps the service is the other way round…..

    1. I have been late to the party with my dog and now understand why she looks at me the way she does – she has been trying to say she is in service and this walking thing is not about her but all about me for a few years now! I thought she would slow me down so never considered taking her with me on my walks, but in fact she is not needy at all – even knocks me over when I am distracted, which I am not sure is entirely necessary but then I had a bit to learn about the walks so I will withhold a final assessment of the knocking over for now!

    1. That’s it Annelies, it is the knowing that we are so much more that allows us to go there and be open to taking responsibility and to evolve. Deep down, I reckon we all know this.

  15. And that responsibility is for me at the moment learning to speak up! Why have I held back on my expression in speaking up so much? And I mean so much! I have allowed so much to get away it is really making me feel uncomfortable, sad and aware of a purpose I had not taken any responsibility for in my life.

  16. It is very inspiring to read how you brought responsibility to a situation that you felt to be quite challenging, thank you for sharing….

  17. I love this part of responsibility you mention here in this blog as viewing everything that happens as a reflection or a constellation for us to learn, grow and evolve from and therefore sensing the bigger picture rather than just reacting to it and only thinking about ourselves.

  18. As well as any medical intervention we may have imagine the healing when taking a course of being responsible in and for ones life. This isn’t a fantasy or theory, as this blog shares responsibility is very beneficial to our health.

  19. “…. dogs were simply reflecting something to us.” Everything is a reflection – for us to choose and learn from – or dismiss and ignore, only for it to crop up again at a later date for us to have another look at.

  20. Situations crop up in our lives where we are asked to step up to receiving a greater responsibility. What I am learning is that when I commit wholeheartedly in every moment to that which is being asked of me nothing gets left behind; it is learning to respond with love knowing that the space will be there as I handle everything that comes my way.

  21. This was a cool sharing as I can relate to it, when I look at my life I think I am being responsible however I can also see that there are responsibilities that I am avoiding and by doing so it is an avoidance of bringing out more of me.

  22. Isn’t it fascinating how the word ‘responsibility’ has come to connote a burden, a chore or a drain on our personal resources. Great then that you expose in this blog that Responsibility can in fact be a true support, not only for ourselves but for all those within our reach.

  23. That is a greater level of responsibility, Leonne, not just by doing the tasks you had committed to do, but by going deeper in the understanding of what unfolded in the process.

    Receiving the lessons that are on offer for us is every situation of life is a way of honouring what comes to us and maximizing them in full. Our responsibility increases then, in the same mesure of our openness to go deeper.

  24. Considering responsibility at a deeper level like this Leonne allows us to see that every moment matters, and there are no prized moments of good elated ones that satisfy once the steady flow of responsibility and purpose is connected to. .

  25. I agree Leonne, the more responsible we become the more we begin to see our irresponsible ways. In becoming aware of energy and understanding how energy affects everyone, the more it becomes a natural impulse to take responsibility for ourselves and our way of being and also know it’s supportive quality.

  26. Responsibility is indeed supportive to the whole. It is, hence, a way for us to move in a way that allows us to connect to the whole and making it part of our life (fact that facilitates our being responsive to it) and not away from it.

  27. ‘if we see every aspect of life as a reflection, we can respond with responsibility.’ This is such a gem Leonne, so rather than take it personally we can see each situation as an opportunity to go deeper and see and feel our next step, so responsibility is in fact our loving parent, bringing us back to more of the love we are.

  28. Thank you Leonne, for your subtle but very honest reflection of how a situation actually brought a wider awareness and understanding of what you needed to do and what else you could feel around you and in others.

  29. To respond with responsibility means to respond with love and to do this depends upon our relationship with self. Seeing everything in my life as a reflection even if I don’t always want to see it at first supports me to have understanding and helps me to heal, observing and feeling what is there to be looked at and let go of within me as I have found out that by trying to fix people and situations never works but creates disharmony within relationships and in life.

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