It’s my Responsibility.

There’s an excerpt from my book, Accountability, toward the end of chapter twenty-five, titled, ‘Me, Myself, and I’, which I find to be helpful reinforcement when I’m feeling off track. It’s a block of sentences concerning the responsibility we have to ourselves, and it states that:

I am responsible for my choices and actions.    
I am responsible for the way I prioritize my time.    
I am responsible for the level of consciousness I
bring to my work.
I am responsible for the care with which I treat my body.
I am responsible for being in the relationships I choose
to enter or to remain in.
I am responsible for the way I treat other people: my
spouse, my children, my parents, my friends and associates.
I am responsible for the meaning I give or fail to give to
my existence.
I am responsible for my happiness.    
I am responsible for my life - materially, emotionally,
intellectually, spiritually. 

It is a weighty bundle of words; not always easy to adhere to and abide by; but I try.It’s all tied up with that selfishness theory - how to be good to yourself without feeling guilty. To be responsible for what you do, and how you go about this business of living your life.

As I don’t live alone, sharing my living space with others is sometimes – crowded. If I choose, for example, to bite my tongue when I feel overworked and snippy about being undervalued, the response I get for this supreme effort to act civil is,“What’s wrong with you? Why aren’t you talking to me?”  It’s probably the hardest thing for me to do, to stifle the urge to say what I think.And sometimes I think, “If you know the dishwasher has run - why can’t one of you empty it?”  Or sometimes I would like to shout, “Please keep things tidy! I need the house to be in order!”

Throughout the course of each day I have a mindset of things that need to be done, and they are a priority for me. I need this order of things to be able to relax enough to “let go” and concentrate on my stuff. The level of consciousness I bring to my work solely depends on the peace of mind I have, having fulfilled my obligations to others.        

It has been a constant struggle to care for my body because my body image has been askew for a long time. Oh, I’ll be religious with a workout plan for say six weeks, all in with a meal plan, workout regime and a powerful mindset of inspirational thoughts, but it eventually dwindles, and I’m back to eating poorly and putting the plan off for the days to come. Then the despair returns, and I’m back to feeling desperate to treat myself better. Round and around that goes.          

Severing ties to people that have been toxic or unhealthy or unsupportive, has been both empowering and sad. In addressing the value of staying in contact with someone who is not helpful but merely critical, or someone whose response is always negative instead of helping me to find a solution to a problem, I came to realize that I am better off without them. Even as painful as it is to let go of those relationships, in the long run, not having that down-bringing energy around me anymore is better - for me. Even if I feel a bit more alone without them.          

The “Golden Rule” of Leviticus 19:18, quoted byJesus of Nazareth, ”Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” is a proverb I try tolive by. It is an important pre-evaluation for me to consider how someone would feel by the way I treat them; either the words I speak to them or the actions I take toward them, before I act. Admittedly, it doesn’t always come readily tome, because in a heated discussion or an intense altercation, I am too riled up to worry about anyone else’s feelings but my own. But I do try to be conscious of the repercussions of my actions.          

I went on to the internet to search for clues to help me write about the line in the text above that says, ‘I am responsible for the meaning I give or fail to give to my existence’ and I found many interesting responses.          

In a newsletter for BIG THINK, Sean McGuirl wrote, “Everything a person does gives them purpose to whatever degree. Whether it be your job, friends, family, desires or even religion you get meaning from these things. In turn you also add meaning [LS1] to people's lives around you.”                

Philip D. Appleman (bornFebruary 8, 1926) is an American poet and writer. He is Professor Emeritus in the Department of English at Indiana University, Bloomington.He has been quoted saying, “Whatever we are, whatever we make of ourselves, is all we will ever have – and that, inits profound simplicity, is the meaning of life.”      

I remember when I was in grade school a teacher asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I had no idea what she meant by “BE”. I wondered: What did I want to be?      

Being a wife and mother was all I ever really wanted to “BE”. Well, sure, I’d also secretly longed to be a writer; the creator of a world-renowned book of major acclaim. But the role I play in my family has given more meaning to my life than any other vocation I could have aspired to.     

Finding happiness, staying happy, and perpetuating this state of happiness, is what we all want. I am happiest when I am not worried about how heavy I look or how my appearance is perceived by others. I am most happy when my family is in good humor and we aren’t bickering about small things. I am contentedly happy when the things I try to do, workout for me. Even though these little happiness’s are fleeting, and I do fret over my weight, and the small things are sometimes big things to me, and the things I try to do, don’t get done when I want them to be done, I can at least say that I am happy in my almost happiness. 


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