Responsibility Is Not a Bad Word
Anytime someone mentions the word responsibility, people cringe. It is a word that is loaded with blame, finger-pointing, rolling of the eyes and general mayhem. At least that is what we feel when someone mentions it. We start looking around for a way to move the spotlight onto someone or something else. If you look at history, responsibility was not a bad word. When an accident happened, people would mourn, but they wouldn't automatically begin looking to lay blame at someone's door. Now we look for the door of the richest possibility - a business, another driver, our doctor, our neighbor. We are constantly bombarded with ads encouraging us to feel like a victim and to assert our rights by laying blame. But what we are really doing is avoiding an important aspect of our learning, a core piece of our amazing essence and forfeiting our power. Because responsibility is also empowerment. Think of it as your ability response. When our body experiences a challenge, it has to respond. It responds based on your ability, and how it responds determines your future abilities. For instance, when you exercise regularly, the ability your muscles have to respond to a steep hill are very different from before you began exercising. Your abilities change as your responses occur. This is true for everything in the body. Like immunity for example. When you have a cold, the way in which your body responds determines how well you will weather your next cold, or a flu, or even something more serious.
Even how we choose to handle an issue with our health determines our future abilities. The more options that we explore, the more ability we have to face a future challenge, the more empowered we become. But let's look a bit deeper. If we accept responsibility for our body then we are accepting the fact that aside from an accident, anything that we experience in our body develops as the result of how we care for our body and our environment. If you willingly expose yourself to carcinogens by smoking, then why are you surprised when you develop cancer? When you do suffer the consequence, do you accept the responsibility of that, or do you try to shift the responsibility onto fate, onto the tobacco company, onto your spouse for making you anxious so you feel the need to smoke?
In fact, responsibility is the very core of our daily life, and the choices we make, how we respond really does determine what our choices will be in the future. It is the very best way to empower ourselves. Because if we are responsible, then we are also in control of both the illness and the treatment. If you are empowered, then you are half-healed already.
My favorite story about responsibility is from someone I knew when I lived in Spain. Her landlord insisted that she had to refinish all the floors in the flat she was renting because her dog had numerous accidents that took the finish off the floor. My friend said that the finish had been poorly done and wasn't waterproof which is why it hadn't stood up to these accidents. The landlord said she wasn't even supposed to have a dog in the flat. My friend said that she had a medical condition which required the dog to be with her. The landlord said that if that was true, why hadn't she said something when she moved in? My friend said that her condition worsened after she moved in, and so she had gotten a puppy. The landlord said that this situation couldn't continue because her dog was ruining his floor. My friend said it wasn't a problem because the dog had died, and the accidents were only because the dog was so old. The landlord said if the dog was so old, then how had she gotten him as a puppy when she just moved in a year ago? My friend said that the dog wasn't the issue, the issue should be what was wrong with the apartment that her medical condition worsened after she moved in?
You see my point...