A Swinger Finds Empowerment Through Responsibility

A Swinger Finds Empowerment Through Responsibility

We live in a day and age where it’s acceptable to not take responsibility for our decisions. Not only is avoiding responsibility accepted, but in many instances it’s encouraged. More often than not, we see this blame game running rampant, especially in the news.

As soon as you turn on your TV or open your browser, stories and videos about people who dodge responsibility for their actions by blaming others immediately pop up. I understand the media sensationalizes these stories because they’re in business to make a profit. I can also see how the repetitiveness of these pieces can make the avoidance of responsibility seem like a plausible choice—it gets us off the hook while transferring the focus on someone or something else.

In the short term, this seems like an easy way to deal with a situation we consider difficult or embarrassing. It can even be a way to keep something we are doing secret. Unfortunately, in the long term, the power we take away from ourselves in passing the buck, so to speak, can have lasting negative effects.

I know for me, when I allow my fear to take over and convince me that the situation I’m in is because of someone else, I become emotional and stressed. These are also the times I feel the most helpless, because when I convince myself the situation will only be solved by a change in someone else’s behavior, I have to “wait” for the other person to act. This is when owning my behavior and responding to my behavior constructively, changes; I become a victim of behavior and will react as a victim to whatever is happening.

It’s kind of like having a flat tire on your car but asking someone else to change the tire on their car in the belief it will fix your flat. It may feel as though something is being done to fix the issue, but no matter how many tires are changed on other people’s cars, your flat tire will stay flat. This is the same type of thing that can happen when we fail to see and/or acknowledge the role we play in our own behavior. I’m not saying we can’t ask for help when dealing with our fears. Just like with the flat tire, we can ask for help in changing the tire, but we have to take responsibility for the fact that the flat tire is ultimately on our car.

Why is taking responsibility so important? Because it reminds me I have a say in what’s happening in my life. Instead of life happening to me, I can begin moving my life in the direction I want to go. Being 100% responsible for my life gives me the power to either continue moving down the path I’m on or I can elect to change direction. I own everything I decide! Oh, but what about all those decisions I made that didn’t turn out so great? Yes, I get to own those as well!

It took some time for me to realize the incredible power in owning ALL of my decisions. My decisions became lessons. They become fantastic opportunities for me to grow. I could say, “Well, you know, I don’t really think I like how this choice is panning out, so I’m going to change it.” WOW… power in action!

How did I get to the point where I felt comfortable taking responsibility? By viewing myself with a nonjudgemental attitude. I stopped being so hard on myself about my choices. I began to see that the choices I made at any given time were the best decisions I could’ve made based on where I was in life. When I viewed myself too harshly, it kept me from wanting to take responsibility for my choices and also made me feel as though I was incapable of making choices for myself.

How has embracing responsibility empowered me? It’s given me ownership of the most important possession I’ll ever have…me! I’ve learned to embrace the power in each and every decision I’ve made or will make. I’m no longer an actor in my life; I’m the director. I can be honest and open about what I like in life. I’ve learned to accept myself for who I am and as a result, I’ve chosen to be with someone who also accepts me for who I am.

When I take responsibility for my actions, not only am I showing the world the value I see in myself, but also the value I see in others.

One Comment

  • Kim says:

    As a child I was raised around the idea of we, collectively, as individuals ‘reap what we sow’. This old, but I believe valid saying, is essentially in line with what you pointed to Jackie, that is, taking responsibility for our actions. I found in doing so, with love, grace and even humor, the discovery of something new for myself. Imagine our world where we, all of us, took responsibility for our actions good and bad, really owned them without disapproval or judgement. What a wonderful world it would be! Thank you for bringing this subject to light Jackie!

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