“Take responsibility for yourself; it’s very rewarding.”
“The secret ingredients to true happiness? Decisive optimism and personal responsibility.”
Amy Leigh Mercree
“Taking responsibility for oneself is by definition an act of kindness.”
#13 I am responsible for myself and for my actions.
I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts, and my life.
Statement #13 in action is the culmination of dedication, change, and perseverance. By investing in self, we bring ourselves to life in new and rewarding ways. Drugs or alcohol severed this connection to life and it is through sobriety and recovery, that life becomes vibrant and fulfilling.
In her book Goodbye Hangovers Hello Life, our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. writes, “There is a power deep in us that we have never before touched. We have never taken the time to find it, even if we knew it was there. Now we are going to find and use it. This is the power of our mind and the power of our thoughts, through the use of which we can significantly change our lives.” It begins within us and with Statement #13, continues our evolution.
How each of us practice this Statement is individual, for each of us responds with our own abilities. What works for one may not work for another and vice versa. We get to grow into ourselves and our New Life. Of course, there are times when life can feel stagnant and unmoving, but there are also those times when life feels like it’s moving in a blur and everything in between. Through it all, we are in charge of our minds, our thoughts, and life!
Here are 4 ways to aid in living responsibly:
- Prioritize YOU: As the old airline adage says, “put your own oxygen mask on first.” What area of your life do you need to make yourself a priority?
- Release blame and pause before complaining: Before responding in intense emotion, pause. Take a breath. There is no need to knee-jerk react. Ask yourself questions to dive deeper into understanding and compassion.
- Be accountable: When you say you will (fill in the blank) …. follow through. If it seems overwhelming at first, break it down into manageable pieces. Embrace the flow.
- Mind your mind: Focus on balance, manage thoughts, release negativity/fear and set realistic goals. You are in charge of yourself.
Hi 4C Women,
When I finally learned to release total blame on everyone and everything that I believed was wrong in my life and focus on taking responsibility for my role in a situation, I learned many life lessons from it. This also included accountability for the other person who may have caused harm or hurt. Big difference from putting the entire blame on someone or something. It is a two-way street and that helped me to understand how important it was to find and speak my truthful voice while acknowledging my part. This is why prioritizing ourselves helps us to react/respond in a healthier way to achieve change – our inside change. Yelling, screaming, blaming, remaining silent, keeping it all inside or even feeling it’s all our fault resolves nothing and teaches nothing. Accountability and responsibility are the best teachers in creating authentic change. I blamed my father, teachers, bosses, and toxic relationships for my life as I thought I had no choice. Well, my choice was to drink away the feelings as I accepted the pain and hurt thrown at me. Zero lessons, zero change. This is not to say that it was okay to be harmed by anyone! Thanks to WFS and this Statement in particular, I realized my responsibility is how I took that situation, the hurt, and the pain, and learned to do something different. I reacted differently (which was a huge challenge and confused the people who expected the usual reaction). I felt so empowered being in charge of my thoughts and how I found a way to express my voice in a competent, responsible, and may I say, a calmer manner. I was no longer behaving like a victim of my circumstances but a strong voice in my choices.
Here’s another lesson I learned and that is it’s not always a straight line to being in charge of my mind, thoughts, and life. I have faltered and succeeded. Many times, it depends on the person, the situation, and even my level of confidence at that given moment. Knowing that stops the personal judgment when I falter and gives myself credit when I succeed. It goes back to Karen’s point of setting realistic goals. Perfection does not exist and is a roadblock to personal growth, life lessons, and authentic change. Something I realized as I practiced this Statement is that the word fault started dropping from my thoughts and was replaced with the empowered word, “responsibility.” That one-word change had a great impact on how I started viewing a situation. For me, it meant I had options and was willing to try those options. I sought input and didn’t see that as a weakness but as a strength. I was previously fearful of seeking help, believing that I would be judged for not having problem-solving or decision-making skills. I was learning gratefulness as well for those who were willing to patiently share their life experiences to support me in building my coping toolbox. This is the outcome of being part of such an empowering program where we can be authentic and grow emotionally without fear of judgment.
Bonded in being empowered, responsible, and willing to learn, Dee
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