I was recently reading a book by Wayne Dyer. Happiness is the Way. And I read something I’ve heard him say many times over the years, and it just hit me.
To be responsible means to respond with ability.
That is a pretty powerful statement.
I think we all understand the difference between responding and reacting. And I think we all strive to respond to the situations in our lives. For me, responding means pausing, taking a breath and thinking about the situation and the outcome I desire. But I will admit, I don’t always do this. I still get stuck reacting in some situations. I know my triggers and I’m aware, but somehow, I still react in these certain situations. So when I read that line, it clicked in my head in a different way than it had before.
What ability did I have in these situations, really in any situation, to respond with? In essence, where is my power, what power do I have? And I know in every single situation I encounter I have the power to choose. To choose how I feel, what I think and how I act.
I can choose to feel attacked or I can choose to feel empowered. I can think they are out to get me or I can think they are dealing with their own stuff and it’s not about me. And based on what I’m choosing to think and feel I can act accordingly.
Our thoughts and feelings always precede our actions. Even if they are only a split second. We always have the ability to choose our thoughts and feelings. Therefore we always have the ability to choose how we act.
It may not seem like it now, but we really do have total power in any situation to choose our feelings and thoughts. If you aren’t used to it, it may seem like that is not true. But like anything it just takes practice. For most of us, before we could ride a bike or swim, it may have seemed impossible. But once we practiced, it became second nature.
With practice and patience with ourselves, we can train ourselves to choose our thoughts and feelings. We can begin to rewrite the energy patterns that tell us we should react in a certain way. We can use our ability to respond and create the situation we desire.
Let me be clear, this does not mean that we are changing anything outside of ourselves. We are not changing other people, we are not changing how they react or respond. We are changing our experience of them and the situation. So no, we may not get the desired results, but if we want to be happy and harmonious with ourselves that is what we are creating. We are creating a situation in which we are feeling balanced and empowered. We can be empowered and still receive a no from someone else or not get the answer we want. And if we are in a balanced, empowered space within, these “negatives” actually provide us with the opportunity to see things from a new perspective and find a different solution.
Responding with ability means to empower ourselves in each and every moment.
If we want to live the empowered life we know we are capable of, then we need to be responsible for everything in our lives. All of it. No blame on anyone. That seems like a tall order I know. Especially when it comes to specific situations or people that aggravate us. But when it comes down to it, we can continue to give them the power and suffer or we can take it back and choose how we feel and think.
Yes it takes practice. But soon it will be easier to say “I choose to feel this way” then “You made me feel this way.”
We alone are responsible for how we choose to feel. And how we choose to feel dictates our experience of life.
So are you ready to be responsible?
Liza Jane Wolf
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