Responsibility is ours.
While are not always to blame for the circumstances we find ourselves in, we are responsible for our responses to them.
This lesson hit me hard twice this week. The first time it emerged during a conversation with my brother. The second time it jumped from the pages of Mark Manson’s book. On both occasions, I was reminded that no matter the situation we have the power to respond rather than to react to what’s happening. We almost always have choices.
If I’m honest, I didn’t want either reminder at the time and I found myself resisting both. I was comfortable whining and complaining, feeling powerless and sorry for myself...but getting nowhere.
It seems like such a simple awareness, doesn’t it? Once we take responsibility for responding to the circumstances life has dealt, we are empowered to change the way we perceive these circumstances. We can become accountable for our part (even if small), connect with our values (with what really matters to us), and take meaningful action (respond deliberately rather than reactively). Psychological well being is greatest when our values (what really matters to us) and our behaviours (what we actually do each day) are closely aligned. Distress emerges as the gap between our values and what we actually do (or don’t do) widens.
I know that when I’m living with this as a guiding truth, I’m more aware, more present and more grounded. I recognise that there is a small space and opportunity to pause and respond, rather than react, in almost every situation. It’s a practice for sure. Another practice for me to connect with as I step more consciously into today. I’ll see how it goes.