In my quest for greater self kindness, I have cogged onto this: I drag out the mantle of responsibility way more than is either true or necessary. That is right. I am not in charge nearly to the degree that I thought. Also, even if I am responsible, my efforts can be a million miles less than perfection and it is still probably absolutely okay. I don’t know why I didn’t learn this sooner. I don’t know why it felt “right” to be demanding and critical of myself and “dangerous” to cut myself some slack. The benefit of age, I guess, is that I am realizing how little of the world’s gaze is actually on me. It leaves space for me to question my internal whip-welding and to navigate to a new perspective.
I am trying out this new awareness within the context of my role as caretaker of our animal tribe. There are standing jokes floating around the internet that apply here; a depiction of the instructions for taking care of the animals and the image is of a ginormous academic-level chalkboard with an infinitely complex mathematical equation/flowchart. That’s me, only in my head. Today, I had an early appointment and guess what? I didn’t bring the horses into the barn and do the whole morning routine. No, I poured their grain out in piles on the pasture ground and I scrammed. Shockingly, no one died. No one even had a temper tantrum. Everyone is, right at this moment, peacefully grazing and enjoying the day as if their world was in complete order which it is because the order of their world does not depend so precisely on my exact efforts. Cut myself some dang slack. They are happy to give me that grace. Heck, they probably saw this morning as a novelty and it brightened their day. We are all benefiting.
3 thoughts on “Responsibility”
Friends of mine in recovery call your morning experience, “AFGE” (another f*****g growth experience. The irony, right?
Sometimes I think if I had known 30 years ago that by beginning the journey of self-examination, self-reflection, I would not find relief vis a vis a destination, I might not have taken the road less traveled, (and, after facilitating thousands of people through conflict in their jobs, in their departments, in their companies….it IS the road less traveled). If I had known that after 10 years of work I would then move to a small FL town to help my parents in the last chapter of their life; that it would be an entire book of AFGE(s), would I have consciously chosen the road? Probably. It ain’t easy, but it IS rewarding. Life becomes less of the bad stuff and more of the good stuff.
I recently had a conversation with a very intelligent woman who told me that she calls my meditation practice, “woo woo.” And all I could think of was if my journey has taught me anything, it’s to stop judging myself and therefore, others. Am I perfect at it? No. But I am aware of the harm of self-judgment and I often catch myself before, during, or after I have judged someone. At least I am aware of it, I tell myself. The journey continues.
I am with you every step of the way from afar, and hopefully one of these days in Ocala!!
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Jeanne, my head is exploding with all the richness of discussion and wisdom imbedded in your comments. Oh my lord! We need a visit!
Lisa, the above response is from me, Jeanne. I have no idea why my response comes up anonymous….I’ll work on it.!
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