Hello All! <3
As always, I encourage you to discern any considerations I offer against your own inner knowing. We are each on our own journey of self-discovery and what resonates with one soul may not for another.
Our responsibilities. Questions (even if subtle), I imagine, surface for most of us daily surrounding for who and what we are responsible. In what ways and to what extents. And who and what we expect to be responsible to us. The beliefs we have surrounding responsibility are actually a very powerful force in steering us both unconsciously, as well as hopefully consciously, in the structure of our lives and the choices we make on a daily basis.
What is responsibility to us? When you reflect on your current definitions for responsibility, do your beliefs feel more rooted in a sense of obligation… or something more like self-empowerment? Does the notion of responsibility feel heavy or engaging?
Considering the foundation of such a key belief structure can often feel tangled and convoluted when we first start to examine it. But it is well worth the time to connect with our underlying clarity as it so significantly impacts our life experiences. Consider that when we give our lives over to auto-pilot, that is often when we feel “burdened” with responsibility. We succumb to the onslaught of our life circumstances and manage it primarily in a reactive manner. From this perspective, we are often swept up in the status quo social structures, expectations, and sub-cultures. Maybe more accurately, we even feel at the mercy of it.
But as we move into more conscious connection with ourselves and subsequently the world we live in, our discernment related to responsibility can shift and result in an increased sense of empowerment.
Our sense of responsibility can morph into our ability to respond instead of just react.
We realize that we have the power to own our life through our choices. Both choices of action and choices about how we relate to our environment and experience.
When we shift our awareness to how we relate to others and the expectations we place on them, new considerations come forth. By stepping back from a situation and allowing ourselves the opportunity to simultaneously experience a broader perspective of the situation in which we are immersed…while still immersed in it, we create an atmosphere for response versus reaction. The very act of acknowledging this opens the door to self-empowerment in our lives. It holds the potential to crown us the creator instead of the victim.
When crossing this threshold, some people may feel relief while most may initially experience a significant inverse effect. If we have lived and defined our lives from a place of dis-empowerment, the very notion that we actually hold the power of responsibility for our lives and how they manifest (if not initially liberating) can evoke feelings of more …dis-empowerment. For many it’s scary. We may experience extreme self-doubt and self-shame relative to our life circumstances. We may question how or why we would have created the life we are living. If this is the case, we are being presented with an even more acute and pronounced choice point. Not for a moment will I insinuate that matters of an awakening consciousness are always a relief. Many times it can feel quite burdensome. We are moving out of a viewpoint that we have intertwined with our sense of an identity for probably a lifetime. I discuss more about why taking responsibility for our consciousness is so significant in a previous blog, Taking Responsibility for All of Me.
When we are not living in awareness, we live at the mercy of our perceptions, not actually at the mercy of this world. As we gain greater awareness and discernment with our perceptions, we gain greater awareness and discernment in our own world. Once we realize that we are only at the mercy of our current perception and our choice in this moment, we access freedom.
We move into the ownership of our choice in every given moment and the power that holds in the creation of our daily experience. Not to be confused with “control,” of our lives (because control is born of fear), I’m referring to “ownership” of our lives. Even when we encounter outcomes we consider undesirable, now we can still take hold of that and are aware that different choices will yield different results.
And this ownership happens how? With space. With reflection. In quiet. Enormous foundations of self-care we frequently disallow ourselves as mothers/parents- often traded for a badge of martyrdom we instead choose to wear with the belief “so is the life of a loving, responsible mother”. If you find yourself thinking “But, but, but that’s just not realistic. I have this to do. That to do. How would all of this get done? I mean, everybody does that. How would everybody get to this and that and we “have to” certainly make sure this gets done… right”?
Does that feel “RIGHT”?
You have the power of your discernment available to you. And then you have the power of a choice. The worth and ability to create a balanced and authentic life.
Please know that I work through this daily with myself. There is no finger pointing here. I am sharing my personal experience of coming into responsibility when I am worn out by giving away my well-being.
Any struggle you feel with your sense of responsibility? I will offer that it’s a mental, emotional, and spiritual tug-of-war with yourself. Every time. It may feel like it’s happening outside of you, but it’s not. It’s about you honoring you. You having your own back in relation to your internal compass of integrity. Every. Damn. Time. It’s about you being vulnerable enough to reveal yourself…to you. And then to own that with the rest of your world.
Consider making and reflecting on a list of all the beliefs that you have attached to your responsibilities. Ones that if changed you believe could result in the consequence of shame, or even losing people in your life, people you love. Then ask yourself, “Do I believe these things about my responsibilities to others in my life out of fear or a sense of obligation (obligation is still fear, btw) 😉 or not wanting to be rejected or experience shame? As you sort through your list and decide what beliefs of yours feel true to you and which may feel motivated fears, you can continue by asking yourself these few questions:
- Where did I acquire this belief?
- Is this how I love and desire to show love to others?
- Is this how I would truly desire love to be expressed to me?
When we shame ourselves or allow someone else to shame us, our negative feelings are actually coming from our own willingness to believe their judgement(s) over our lives. We feel that way because we are buying into their belief regarding our worth instead of an internationalized sense of self-worth. This can always be an opportunity for self-assessment. This. This is an opportunity to take the reins of responsibility for our life.
When we take these reins, there are choices in life that we may feel we need to make that will inevitably disappoint others or even cause them pain. To deny ourselves those choices will ultimately create resentment. And that will remain unresolved and fester without fault until we address it. Part of owning our responsibility is at times needing to own the hard choices that feel best for us. And then the outcomes. When we are aware of this we can approach our communication with others in compassion. Our honesty doesn’t need to be ruthless, it’s just asking to be known. We may even start realizing…that living our personal honesty is arguably our greatest responsibility- to ourselves and others. And understanding why that is the case. I wrote more about this in a previous blog, Courageous Integrity.
If we stop defining all of our choices as being or needing to be right or wrong, then it just becomes a choice again. Not a judgment against ourselves or others. It opens the door to be more present with our experiences and claim the responsibility for living our most honest and fulfilling lives. We can pursue what that internal compass tells us is the path…for us. And caring for ourselves does not mean we don’t care for others. Not at all. It just means we are willing to extend ourselves the same love we give to others. And we love and respect ourselves and others enough to believe all deserve honesty. When we live in that place, the healthy kind of love overflows. When we choose this, we lead the way for the others in our lives to claim that same freedom.
If you would like to connect for a one-on-one session as you navigate your journey of self-discovery, I would consider it my privilege and look forward to hearing from you.
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