How many times in life are we told to be responsible or act responsibly. From childhood we are condemned or commended depending on how responsible we behave. We take care of our toys, we do our chores, we study our school work, or we don’t. We are graded and judged from an early age by the standards of others. This is both monumentally unfair, and a fact of life. No matter what we do others will be formulating ideas, thoughts and judgments based upon how our actions fit into their view of the world. We can choose to play along or? we can opt out of this illusion. It is our choice but one with real world consequences.
If we continue to play along we may avoid conflict and make others happy but at what cost? Can we live a happy life if we are devoted to making other people happy? If we choose not to participate in this shared delusion we may create uncomfortable situations and face the ire of those close to us. However, we may be happier for it, given the fact that we are honoring our authentic selves. The difficulty arises when others, who prefer we honor them first, rebel against our shift in priorities. It is a difficult choice and our choices may change by the day or even by the minute. Perhaps it is easier to disappoint our spouse rather than our boss. Or maybe we feel more comfortable letting down our children but not our parents. It is different for everyone.
These are hard truths that we must look at. If we choose to define our responsibilities by the judgments of others we will always be disappointing someone, and inevitably disappoint ourselves. Our only true choice is to discover and define our own beliefs in responsibilities. The first one we should decide on is the responsibility we have to ourselves.
More often than not we have a sense that we should be responsible for others and for their happiness, but we overlook or ignore ourselves and our own happiness. We do this because of a false understanding of joy. We can only make ourselves happy and not others. It is up to each of us to take excellent care of the people in our lives, beginning with ourselves. If we put ourselves second or third or worse, we do a disservice to those in our lives and to ourselves. Reclaim your life. Enjoy your life. Live responsibly.
Dean Soukeras is a published author, his most recent book is called The Link. He is also a Reiki practitioner, a shamanic healer and a Zen Buddhist monk. Dean ran a computer business for years, making it one of America’s fastest growing businesses, according to Entrepreneur Magazine, before heeding a spiritual call. Now, with a solo-practice, Dean is finishing his next novel and works with clients to facilitate their physical and spiritual well being.
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