By Sylvia Poareo
September 25, 2009
So often with friends and clients, when we begin to discuss taking personal responsibility, there is a heaviness and resistance. It seems when we hear the term personal responsibility, we hear the old messages of the past that may have been shaming or unsupportive, “You need to be responsible!” “You have a responsibility to…!” “That is your responsibility!”
So it is no surprise that we respond to this language with trepidation. If we are in our wounded self, we can surely use these words to shame, judge, and isolate ourselves, repeating the admonitions of the past. We may think of taking personal responsibility as a punishment or a chore.
Yet our loving adult, connected to Guidance, can help us to reframe this and be empowered by the fact that , yes we do, we have “personal response-ability!” We can respond. Life may present us with challenges. We may have grief about not having the mothering or fathering we needed. We may be in pain. But in every moment, we can respond! We have choice and we are not victims.
Accepting personal responsibility is not a punishment, but a priceless gift of power and transformation in each moment of our lives. Sometimes people hold onto beliefs that someone else ‘should’ love them, do something for them, be different, etc., and they will stay stuck because there is no power in trying to control another. Instead, embracing our own ability to respond and choose love, brings so much possibility and freedom.
As a mother of two small children, I am reminded on a daily basis of how we can be defeated or empowered in any given moment depending on our response. My daughter says, “Julie said I was stupid!” I can either respond in a way that communicates to her that she is a victim (fear/protection), or I can empower her to own her response ability (love/co-creation). I ask, “Is that true? What would feel better to you right now?” She responds, “No, I’m not stupid. I will walk away. “ Children intuitively connect to the wisdom within and around us when reminded that they have a choice.
Sometimes we may feel overwhelmed because we were abandoned, neglected, abused and the wounded self wonders, “Why do I have to do it all alone?” Why is it up to me?” An essential part of accepting our personal response-ability is to remember we are not alone. We respond best with help from Guidance: “Here is this challenge, God/Spirit” and Spirit guides, “Here is power, here is possibility, here is Love.“ Sometimes it takes days, sometimes we need to talk it over with someone, but it is the awareness that we have choice and power to connect to Love on our behalf, that heals and transforms.
My soul rests when I ask God, “What am I doing or thinking here that is causing this pain?” There is no “other” to have to contend with. It’s really not about “what Julie says” it’s how we respond. This is so freeing! We can only control ourselves and that is all we need to control. Over time, my soul has come to know that when I ask these questions, there will be peace and loving resolution.
Using Inner Bonding has wired me to know the beauty and true power that comes from embracing personal responsibility; owning my feelings and actions and their impact on my well-being. However painful the moment can be, however activated in my wounded self I may feel, I know in my being that there will be growth, learning and empowerment when I embrace my personal response-ability.
We can feel that life “happens to us” or we can be active, creative, EMPOWERED co-creators with life, when we respond by tuning in to Love and taking care of ourselves. The more you consciously choose to embrace your personal “response-ability,” the more natural it will feel. Soon you will treasure this amazing gift of choice and authentic power that we all have in every moment.
jocep - Holden - 09/25/2009 05:42 PM
Thank you Sylvia, this article was really helpful in breaking the process down again in an easy way that brings about the "aha" response. How wonderful that your children get to learn this when so young! Joyce
Penny - Longmeadow - 09/25/2009 06:24 PM
Hi Sylvia, What a great mommy you are!!! Wouldn't it have been wonderful if we all had mother's like you growing up. The world would certainly be a much more happy and peaceful place. I love the line, "My soul rests when I ask God..." This thought brings such a soothing feeling. I find that once I can get to a place where I can "let go of the oars" paddling like crazy upstream and allow God to move me swiftly downstream, the destination is always peace. I just need to remember to "TRUST" and to remember to hand my oars over to God! Thanks for writing this article. I really loved it!
Jenee - 09/25/2009 06:30 PM
My soul rests when I ask God, “What am I doing or thinking here that is causing this pain?” There is no “other” to have to contend with.
That really is such a freeing thought. It is so easy to want to blame someone else, something else for not responding. I really want to get this through my head.
ChaplainSuzi - Franklin - 09/26/2009 11:45 AM
Hi, Sylvia! (met you in Durango this summer)
This was helpful in addressing my resistance to "growing up" and being responsible. Sometimes I am resistant to being a Loving Adult and your explanation about things we were told when we were young (in a critical, shaming manner), helped me understand my resistance.
Sending blessings to you and your wonderful family!
Evren - 09/26/2009 02:05 PM
Thanks so much for this article. It was exactly what I needed to remember at exactly the right time.
lindsayswisdom - 10/01/2009 04:41 PM
I always enjoy your articles Sylvia.Thanks!
the oars made me think of Somos el barco,somos el mar.Yo navego en ti,tu navegas en mi..The spirit of cooperation when we do let go of oars in selves and with others,how life feels so free and joyous
kimam - Atlanta - 10/01/2009 07:50 PM
AWESOME article. I love knowing that we have a choice to be defeated or empowered. Very well done Sylvia.
maggiegodhard - Gainesville - 10/27/2009 08:50 AM
We choose our response...reminds me of this quote
" I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it"- Maya Angelou
Love & Gratitude for a great article!
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