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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437 thoughts on “Responding with Responsibility

  1. I like that “no guarantee” we can often think we are responsible and so at the outcome will be this, but is not always the case. The outcome will be what it will be, but do we choose to live with responsibility regardless of the short term outcome…I would say yes, because we are all here for a longer, more distant out play of our choices.

  2. “and we knew that the way we lived in the house would be felt by the family that lives there.” Wow, that is true responsibility right there. The way we live effects everyone, and it is an illusion to think otherwise. There is no hiding behind closed doors, everything is energy and can be felt. And we leave energetic imprints everywhere. The question to be asking ourselves – is what kind of energetic imprint do we want to leave?

  3. Everything that happens is an offering for us to step up to a new level of responsibility. This is awesome and is, in truth, worth celebrating although how it presents itself does not always make us feel like celebrating because we see it as an affliction. I love how you have clearly presented how we can turn perceived nuisances and hardship into an evolving process.

  4. It is great to read how you just brought more reading, understanding and love to the situation. No matter the outcome that is bringing more responsibility to situations in life.

  5. It never fails to amaze me that when we look at something from a different angle and then realise that there was so much more being offered than we originally thought.

  6. Yes it is never about what happens to us and all about how we respond to what is happening to us that counts.

  7. This is great what you share “if we see every aspect of life as a reflection, we can respond with responsibility”. if we just stop to feel the reflections given to us in every moment we have a choice to respond with responsibility.

  8. What a clear understanding you bring so beautifully to the responsibility we all hold and the way we respond and how things can play out. It is joyful to read and see the importance we all play in everything and the all we are part of and how we can make a difference by our choices to simply be and respond to what is happening lovingly without emotion and drama.

  9. Being responsible in life by not going into reactions, “but if we see every aspect of life as a reflection, we can respond with responsibility.” Thank you Leonne this is such an important presentation of how to respond in any given moment.

    1. Sure Greg, when we accept that responsibility is natural to our being, being irresponsible is actually in negation of the grandness that we are and do we heal all these moments of irresponsibility in our lives.

  10. Thank you Leonne, reading your blog again today it really came to me how we let beliefs about words like responsibility prevent us from receiving the true gifts inherent in such things. For example we feel responsibility is a drag so we avoid it, yet when we commit to it and experience it without preconceptions there are many benefits that can truly support our lives.

  11. I do now not know where the dislike for responsibility comes from, as what is shared here in this blog and also from my own experience taking responsibility is not a burden at all but just the opposite. It rejuvenates and make me enjoy life again.

  12. Meeting life from our bodies first offers us the choice to respond to life circumstances from an openness and understanding that everything happens for a reason for us to learn from and evolve and that is our responsibility to consistently live from; instead of resisting it which only deteriorates the quality of the bodies we live in.

  13. Wow Leonne, great blog 🙂 I love what you’ve shared. What I got from reading this was that as events and life happen, we can either see it as just events, manage it all and get through it. Or we can look at what is going on and whilst taking care of what needs to be done, we can reflect and ponder on the deeper meaning of it all. This in itself is part of responsibility – to look at what every aspect of life is offering.

  14. Religious is a word that is used about things we dedicate ourselves to, which for me, gives away the fact that it is about connection. Responsibility is worth dedicating ourselves to and, as I am learning, energetic responsibility opens up a whole new world – or is it our old world we have turned a blind eye to?!

  15. Accepting others as they are and the choices they make without judgement is probably one of the most loving acts we can make.

  16. Responsibility is an ever expanding awareness of what is needed before a moment even occurs. With energetic responsibility and reading life from this level we are not bound by time because we are putting our awareness into the true multidimensional state it belongs to.

  17. Like you Leonne I saw responsibility as a burden, until I tried it and kept stepping into it more. I realise how healthy it actually is for us to exercise responsibility. When I’m not being responsible my overall well-being goes down so quickly.

  18. A beautiful reflection on responsibility Leonne. For me what you also highlighted was accepting and understanding, without judgement, another person’s choices.

    1. A deeper acceptance of life and therefore deeper responsibility will naturally flow forth, the deeper we surrender to our power, magnificence and grace.

  19. Great patience, not so sure how I would have handled dogs barking all night probably would have smacked them.

  20. A beautiful aspect of responsibility showing how supportive and loving it really is for us all and the joy of this and not the burden it is often thought of being.

  21. Thanks Leonne – I love the sense of humour and lightness that you brought to this, showing us that no matter whether things go the way we want them to we can still respond with responsibility.

  22. When we are living responsibly, we will respond to life – equipped with the knowing and understanding to offer, support and serve in absolutely every moment.

  23. Approaching life with a willingness and commitment to responsibility brings lightness to the very initial moments of whatever is before. Then moving through the next moments can flow quite simply and possibly even innate joy. Starting with a heaviness and trying to work it though can sometimes at best result in relief, but perhaps wont open up a feeling of lightness and potential joy.

  24. This is a beautiful sharing of the responsibility we all hold to read what is happening and to not react but truly observe and from there all that is needed will be known to us allowing a growing and evolution for all.

  25. Responding to life as you show here brings a totally different quality to our day than being in reaction to what comes towards us.

  26. This is a fun blog, with a real message that true responsibility can be our choice no matter what is manifesting in our lives.

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