What does Responsibility mean to you? Is it a scary word? Do you shy away from it? Does it sit heavy on your shoulders? It can fill us with fear, weigh us down and make us worry. What if something goes wrong? My head will be on the line! These sorts of thoughts can increase stress and anxiety.
The thing is that at the most simple level all of us are responsible for ourselves every single moment of our lives. Many of us do our very best to avoid this simple fact. When things go wrong for us we blame others, blame the situation, blame anything that we can. Often we even blame ourselves.
When we enter into the world of blame it fills us with negative thoughts and this impacts on our happiness. If we blame ourselves then we have low self esteem and we stop valuing ourselves. When we blame another person we often think and act in a negative way towards them. If we blame a situation it can leave us feeling hopeless,like there is nothing we can do to change things. On a theoretical level most of us can see it is not a good route to go down. It doesn’t lead to happiness, contentment or success in life.
All of us will come across situations where blame is our natural reaction, whether we blame ourselves, another or a situation. When we get ill it is really common to blame ourselves, to look back and try to find what we did wrong. This can cause stress which really doesn’t help recovery. When someone close to us upsets us in some way we may well blame them for their actions. This can make us uncommunicative and difficult to be with and this does nothing to resolve the situation and simply leaves everyone feeling low. Having the ability to spot this tendency for blame and to think about our response is a life saving skill. Mindfulness can get us there.
No matter how serious your situation and how awful the impact remember, we can’t change others and we can’t change circumstances, but we can changed how we respond to them. If we get all consumed in our anger then we become this anger. No one else will be taken over by your anger, everything else will just carry on. So actually, in being responsible perhaps we learn to look after ourselves.
Think about the make up of the word…
Once we realise that we are able to control our responses we open up a world of happiness and success. We are the maker of our own destiny. We decide how things work. Mindfulness can put us in this position of power.
When we learn to meditate, in time we are able to recognise our thoughts as they come and go. This can be so useful. It means rather than reacting to situations we can respond. The difference? Well if we react we do things without thinking, on the spur of the moment, often something we later regret. If we respond we are then able to do what we have decided is the right thing to do and we are therefore left with peace of mind. An amazing difference and one that makes life so much better!
After a difficult situation we can move on without being plagued by anger or regret about the way we acted and this can be a huge relief. Half the hectic thoughts in our minds are cut out and that is a massive help.
So learning to meditate and live mindfully can allow us to cope with everything life has to throw at us. No matter how bad the situation we can watch our thoughts, take some time and then respond. Every cloud has it’s silver lining and if we can pause and spot the best way forward then suddenly the world seems on our side again.