Responsibility. We’ve all been taught about responsibility. We’ve been told the shoulds and the oughts we are expected to live by. We’ve been conditioned by the rights and the wrongs of our culture and society. We’ve grown up to believe societal norms, religious and cultural standards, acceptable behaviors, what choices will be respected what decisions will be shamed. These conditions shape who we are on the outside, and often times, damage who we are on the inside; by repressing dreams and desires to pursue what others believe to be responsible human behavior.
Living by a set of rules or standards created for us by others generally leads us into disappointment. And when we feel that disappointment, and don’t recognize that it’s guiding us into becoming our authentically true selves, we live in a world of shame and guilt and more discouragement. But instead of changing our view on responsibility, we continue the grind, suppressing our dreams, suppressing our emotions or allowing the emotions to seep out on other people in forms of anger, depression, sadness and rage. Often we can’t even decide why we feel angry, we just know that something isn’t right but we can’t decide what’s really wrong. This paradox has led me to examine the word responsibility and how it plays out in our life of complex decision making and the never ending search for the “right” thing to do.
Responsibility is made up of two words: response and ability. We all have abilities; some things we were born with, some things we’ve developed and some that are lying dormant ready to be discovered. The exciting thing is that when we focus on who we are in our soul, what our abilities are that make us come alive inside, the things that we are able to BE with ease and enjoyment, we have discovered a purpose worth pursuing. And when these abilities are met with a response that brings joy and ease to our life, when these abilities are met with a response of positivity and creativity, we have learned the true nature, the true meaning of responsibility; it’s our response to our abilities.
A lemon tree is a lemon tree without even trying, just being. It gives all of itself in great joy, anticipating the sun each morning and adapting to each season accordingly. It does not spend hours wondering what kind of tree it is, or trying to produce an apple.
So if you love to sing, then sing; that is your response to your ability. If you love to paint, then paint. That is your response to your ability. If you love your kids, love them well, that is your response to your ability. Why have we over complicated it? Why have we made it a burden when it’s really a gift. When we can experience our being freely, when we can take on life as a dance, releasing the chains of bondage to somebody else’s idea of what our life should look like, responsibility becomes an adventure, replacing the prison we created in our own minds.
So what responsibilities are you placing upon yourself that don’t bring you joy? What responsibilities are you allowing others to place upon you that maybe aren’t yours to own? Would it lighten your load to imagine responding to your abilities in a way that would bring joy and peace back into your day today living? So what are your abilities? And what would your response be to each one of them? Let’s begin looking at responsibilities as a blessing, as an encouragement, as an infusion of ourselves with the creative spirit. Your response to your abilities, your beingness, is the key to your passionate enjoyment of your life. How will you respond today?