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!

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475 thoughts on “Responding with Responsibility

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. ‘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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. .

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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