Friday, August 3, 2012

Response Ability

“The first act of self-responsibility, and the base of all the others, is the act of taking responsibility for being conscious – that is, of bringing an appropriate awareness to our activities.”
-Nathaniel Branden, author of Taking Responsibility

All of us have blamed other people at some point in our lives for something. Unaware of the amount of pain we were in at the time, we chose to blame. 

 I have gone though the  gauntlet of  accepting, and not accepting my share of responsibility for what my life looks like, how I got here, and what I have done. There are always deeper places to probe. It becomes an on going process that is definitely... challenging.

 However I am feeling that there is a climate in our world of more and more complaining, blaming, bitching, worrying, finger pointing and shaming. 

No doubt we’ve been harmed physically or emotionally by the acts of others.Yes others are often to blame for egregious actions. There are laws to protect us from certain behaviors and hold people accountable. Sometimes our upbringing makes us more sensitive to the injustices of harmful behavior. 
One might still cringe when scolded, a trigger to a painful memory of a childhood disciplinary act by a parent. But if there are overwhelming incidents of historic trauma, then it is our duty to ourselves and others to seek out the help of professionals to heal our pain. Because if we don't we will take it out on others.
External circumstances might have put you at a disadvantage, but we have a choice to do something about this.

 It’s called, taking responsibility. 

People make excuses for their behavior instead of looking at their own thoughts and actions. When you fail to accept  responsibility for your actions there are events that follow over time. An unpleasant pattern in your family is because there are years and years of brushing the uncomfortable under the rug, pretending things don't happen, acting like everything is fine-- obviously not taking  responsibility for actions. 
 Excuses are insidious because they become a self-fulfilling prophecy, an excuse we make true. Proving no one understands us, listens to, respects, or loves us. If you blame others, then you are the victim,  –You stay the wounded child, the eternal victim. Therefore, the prophecy is  fulfilled.
Another consequence to not taking responsibly is an exaggerated sense of self that makes it difficult to get along with others.  Because your perception of your importance is exaggerated, your expectation of others is unrealistic and you become impatient, intolerant, and demanding. You will even go out of your way to pull conflict into your life to fuel the drama of the upset. Then the drama becomes so upsetting and distracting which is  another way to deflect  responsibility. 

People who keep making excuses for their behavior are trying to deflect their inadequacies and avoid reality. They don’t see that they are losing the respect and trust of their friends, family, and colleagues. They use their pain and all their good intentions as a way to mask the truth and then ultimately, they only surround themselves with people who support their ideas and put up with their excuses. 

We are afraid of not being enough and when we don't step up to take responsibility we prove we aren't enough. Then  our pain becomes our lives, then we can keep blaming others. Yes, we have all done this.

 “ But, I love you! I am doing everything for you, I work my ass off to help you, I put up with the fact you hurt me 20 years ago, that you were mean to me, that you betrayed me, that you left me. This is your fault! This has nothing to do with me! My pain is because of what you said what you did, to ME!"  

The need for acknowledgement and at the same time using the blame game is a wounded child screaming for help.

It would be nice to be in dialogue with others to work things out. But people who can’t take responsibility for their own behavior are not going to be looking to talk to you, They will avoid you like the plague.  They will hide behind others, money, pain, work, or history in order to feel superior and right in being victimized.

The only way out of this vicious cycle is to be aware of your thoughts and actions and then take responsibility for what you are doing, what you have done, what you've said and not said, accept how your behavior has contributed to the situation and... admit it, come clean and tell the truth. OYE!

The only way to change this is, you must WANT it to change. We must find the ability and the courage to respond differently.

It is amazing when we fess up to our own bad behavior what can happen. If people are willing to change, they will be willing to forgive.  Then fear  can morph, love starts to flow and harmony can be resorted. But it takes work.

Don’t wait for others to change. You face the mirror, you go for help, you seek reflection from people who will help you unwind the craziness. Question your thoughts your actions. Don’t stay stuck in needing to prove you are right, look a certain way, or stay in control.

Unless you seek the help of people who know how to really help you take responsibility, you are just running in circles, feeling exhausted, upset, in pain, frustrated, disappointed and unhappy. What if we all were to do this? What would our world look like?

We all make mistakes. But there is freedom in the truth, confidence in taking action, well being and love, in doing what's right.