Being Responsible for the Life I Live

Do you ever get the feeling there is more to life? That there is more to you than meets the eye?

This is something I’ve felt for most of my life, never feeling content, always on the search for more, always seeking outside of myself for the next thing that would “make me” feel content. This created a constant internal struggle, to avoid what I was truly feeling within.

Opting for a snack, a movie, a comfy chair and a good gossip magazine, a double session of Pilates, a nice distracting conversation or night out with a friend, none of which were really any different from the other. I used all of them to keep me from avoiding the little niggle within.

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The Responsibility Spectrum: Where do we Draw the Line with Responsibility?

Where do we draw the line with responsibility when it runs along an entire and all-encompassing spectrum from responsibility to yourself, your family, to others, to work, to groups, to your local community, to your state and country, to the environment, to humanity, to the Earth and beyond.

Is it possible that we can be responsible for all of this at the same time?

In the traditional understanding of responsibility – of course we cannot! We cannot be dedicating our every waking hour to projects supporting every one of these singularly huge aspects of responsibility at the same time – this is the collective responsibility for all of us to play our part in through our unique daily life contributions.

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Energetic Responsibility

I was brought up to be ‘responsible’ and to have an awareness that how I acted affected other people; as the eldest child, there were expectations that I took on – that how I behaved had an impact on my younger siblings. Doing the ‘right’ thing was important even if no one else knew you were doing it. I prided myself on being honest and pointing out, for example, if a shopkeeper had undercharged me, but in reality, I was often very irresponsible in how I took care of myself and also how my frequent disregard for myself and my wellbeing impacted all those around me. Not just because other people had to pick up some of my responsibilities, but also in the irritability and other behaviours that I imposed on others.

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Responsibility – is it something we Pick and Choose or is it Naturally Ours?

Lately I have heard that responsibility is referred to as the ability to respond. I like that as it rings true in how we naturally respond to life, which can be very well observed with children.

Young children have a natural curiosity about and for life. They observe and put into practice what they have observed without questioning whether they like to do it or not. They also do not categorise into having something done well or as being wrong; they just do it again and again, bringing their all into the experience.

As adults we have unlearned this way of being and have been taught to calculate and reason. We have been taught that we have a choice to like something or not, to categorise into good and bad, important or not important and thus have also learned to prioritise.

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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.

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Responsibility Redefined – it’s in the Quality and not the Action!

The word responsibility has been a terrifying word for me – I am slightly exaggerating but I’m also serious. I actually consider myself quite a responsible person, doing the right thing, arriving on time, being reliable, honest, considering others, not cheating on my time sheets at work and so on and so on. But although I may be ‘doing’ the responsible actions in my life, I never ever considered the quality of these actions and how they affect me and outside of me. Continue reading “Responsibility Redefined – it’s in the Quality and not the Action!”

Responsibility and the Bigger Picture

I was pondering on the wider implications of responsibility the other day, it being such a vast and never-ending narrative in our everyday life. To take responsibility, or not, is the question here. But the way responsibility is talked about can make it sound like a heavy burden and a threat or punishment even. Who would want a bar of it under these circumstances? On the other side, if we do take responsibility, why would we do it and what does it do, generally and for us?

I was also inspired by the blog Are We Taking Responsibility For Our Own Lives which opened an even wider scope in the responsibility arena and certainly highlighted some dark corners where irresponsibility can hang out, linger and hide. Continue reading “Responsibility and the Bigger Picture”