Taking personal responsibility-is it really a big deal?
As a mom, helping my children to resolve conflicts, disappointments, or difficulties can be really challenging. To navigate the emotional minefields that come up in a way that helps everyone involved to not only come to a resolution but for each individual to emerge a better person can be a daunting undertaking. Conflicts never have only one side; there’s always the other side of the story that helps to bring some clarity to what might initially seem obvious.
In working to resolve a conflict with my kiddos, it seldom happens that one of them immediately takes ownership for their part in the dispute. Initially I hear what everyone else did or said. Asking questions is the avenue I’ve found that works most often to help everyone begin to take ownership of their contribution to the battle at hand.
It’s frustrating trying to help them resolve a disagreement when no one wants to own up to their choices. It’s obvious to me with their disagreements what the core problem is and what needs to happen for the issue to be resolved, but for them, it’s not obvious at all. And when I am in the middle of the fray, it’s much more difficult for me to see clearly as well.
“The happiest people in the world are those who feel absolutely terrific about themselves, and this is the natural outgrowth of accepting total responsibility for every part of their life.” Brian Tracy
I’ve discovered a secret that I never wanted to find. That secret is this-
Whatever is going on with the person in charge is what trickles down to everyone else. It’s a very inconvenient fact. Very inconvenient.
When I hang onto unforgiveness, I model unforgiveness to my children.
If I don’t respect people around me, I model disrespect to them.
When I’m feeling ungrateful, the whining amps up in ridiculous proportions in no time at all. But they aren’t the ones that started the grumpiness; they are only joining me in what they see me modeling.
Pick any character quality, and unless I practice that in my life, I can’t expect them to reflect that quality back on me.
Personal responsibility. Our culture has a huge void in taking responsibility for much of anything. We blame our parents, the church, the government, our culture, past hurts and disappointments, others not coming thru for us, the weather, our underwear, our finances-you name it.
We can list a million reasons why we are in this difficulty, why our life isn’t the way we want it to be, why we are the way we are.
Personal responsibility is just that-personal. As a culture, we’ve erroneously believed that we don’t want anything to do with it. I’d like to suggest that taking responsibility for our lives is a privilege! We look at it so backwards! We don’t want to take responsibility because we don’t want to own the fact that we don’t get it right all the time. We don’t want to acknowledge that we make mistakes.
But if we don’t have the privilege of taking responsibility, we also can’t change a darn thing! If our entire life is a result of other people and their choices, we have no power to change what our life looks like. We can’t change what we’re doing to get different results if there’s no personal responsibility.
We look at personal responsibility as something negative, but it’s a positive privilege we have.
Will we take responsibility for our choices? Doing so has the ability to change the trajectory of our life.