Accepting responsibility for your life

So I consider myself a pretty strong person. Not the type to allow others to make decisions for me, or tell me what to do. Maybe it stems from being an only child. I could never blame things on any siblings. If there was something broken, I did it. If there wasn’t something done, it was because I hadn’t done it. If someone snuck into dad’s rye and replaced it with water…. well I couldn’t really blame that on the dog.

It is easy to lay blame on everyone else for everything bad that happens in life. I spent many years saying things like, why does life always treat me this way? Why do I always get screwed over? Why me?? If my parents didn’t act that way, or if that boyfriend had treated me better, then maybe I wouldn’t have it so rough.

Not too long ago I was complaining, as usual, about how I didn’t like my life. Going on endlessly about my employer treating me badly, about how my boyfriend was a liar and used me all the time or how none of my friends or family really appreciated me. One of my close friends interrupted me and said ‘you must like things this way’. When I acted shocked at the suggestion that I was enjoying such things, he pointed out that I was allowing them to happen.
It was then that I realized I had to shift my perspective. Re-examine my thinking and views of how things actually worked. I had to really think about the aspects of a situation and well, I had to become a bit more of a bitch. (It’s all just a matter of perspective).

It took a bit, but I eventually understood that my employer wasn’t going to change. Nothing I ever could do or say would change the way they treated their employees. As soon as I began to complain about how work sucked, I had to stop myself and think, how could I make the situation better? The answer to that was to go back to school and challenge myself.

If I didn’t like how I was being treated, my only choice was to do something about it. I had to change to make it better. I also realized that if I never put myself in a situation where I felt my friends or family “owed” me, then I would never have to worry about if they appreciated me. Now if I choose to help family and friends, it is based solely on the fact that I want to help them. This made it so the act of assisting someone else provided me with satisfaction and it ensured that I needed no further gratification. Doing things this way means that I am never disappointed.

I realized that if I had a user, liar boyfriend, it was because I was choosing to allow him to use me and lie to me. I easily put an end to that. If I met someone new, who set off “red flags”, I didn’t ignore it, I moved on. I would rather be alone than unhappy. My mother says it best, “I already have one asshole in my pants, why would I want another?”

I fully realize now that I only have control over my actions. I cannot make someone else like me, or even hate me. That as individuals with a lifetime of different experiences, we all view things different ways. It may be hard to teach or convince yourself that other people’s actions and decisions are not based on anything that you say or do. But alas the world doesn’t revolve around any of us.

I have explained it in the past as: I can act like a bitch with one person and they will hate me for it. I can act the same way with someone else and they will love me for it. I have no control over how they feel. All I have control over is my decisions. Also with that, I do not allow anyone to have control over me. I don’t let someone else tell me how I should feel or think.

So essentially, I have all the control in my life and with that comes sole responsibility over my actions and my choices. With that though, there is no one else to blame when things go wrong. It’s kind of hard to blame anyone else for your choices when you are the only one making them. I can never say that someone else made me do something. Or not do something. We always have choices and more of us need to own up to the decisions we make.

Also, keep in mind, accepting responsibility isn’t just about “bad stuff”. It’s also acknowledging that you deserve accolades when things are right. So many of us down play our accomplishments or belittle ourselves when we deserve so much more. If you have worked hard to earn something, don’t be ashamed! Take credit when it is owed to you and be proud of your accomplishments!! It is great feeling to be rewarded for your hard effort!

By: Linda Goymer, Owner Belly Rub Love

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