How much personal responsibility do we take in our relationships?
Do we take 50% responsibility when there are two people involved? 25% when there are four people in the room?
We need to, at all times, take 100% responsibility for our own thoughts, words and actions. We are 100% responsible for our own experiences.
It is easy to blame others for “making us feel” sad, angry, or any other myriad of feelings. But the truth is that nobody else can ever actually “make us feel” anything. We ourselves choose how we feel about the noise of the lawnmower, the rising of the sun, or the pouring rain.
We choose how we respond to the grumpy shopkeeper, the irritated husband, the crying child. Happiness is a choice. Misery is another (less enjoyable) option.
At first it might seem a little intimidating to take full responsibility for our reality. But on further pondering, we can see how liberating it can be. If we are 100% responsible for everything that we feel, say, do and experience then that means that we are 100% capable of choosing our responses and creating our realities.
Of course some things are beyond our control. We had heavy rainfall last week, with rivers on the roadways, and even some roads closed due to flash flooding. Some of us couldn’t get home! We could have yelled at the rain, demanding that it stop. We could have complained for days about how it ruined our plans. Or we could have accepted the rain, taken shelter, or gone outdoors in raincoats and rubber boots. We could have been miserable or happy. Either way, the rain was the same. Our response was the difference.
It is similar in relationships. We can rage at our partner, friends or children, demanding that they behave differently. (This is a misuse of our personal power, and is nothing short of bullying).
We can feel victimized by the behavior of others. (This is giving away our power). Or we can see how we have choices, in every moment, about our own behaviors and responses. We choose where we are, what we do, how we respond.
When we bring the focus of our attention clearly back to our own behavior, we are much more powerful. When we accept the universe with an attitude of gratitude, and we take full responsibility for ourselves we can no longer be the victims of circumstance. We are empowered, capable adult humans.
The choice is ours…
Image Credit: Christina Dehoff