Note: I may have mulled over this idea or something similar before on my blog but I can’t check back (vertigo…) and it’s a lesson I need to relearn. So as I can’t read back over my words, I’m trying to write myself back. And typos are likely to continue as proof reading is still very tough…
With great responsibility comes great power
What on earth do I mean? Well, I’m thinking here about personal responsibility and personal power. I’ve not really thought any wider than that. And when I say personal responsibility, I mean taking responsibility for myself. Taking responsibility for my actions and my reactions, for my decisions and for my choices. To take responsibility for oneself is a very empowering act.
When you take responsibility for yourself, you stop being able to blame external factors. And when you can’t blame external factors, you find yourself in a position where you are responsible for where you find yourself. And if you are responsible for that, you can change things by changing your actions and reactions, by changing your decisions and your choices. Or not. But you do so from your own power, not because of someone or something else.
Disclaimer: I know there are many unavoidable things in life. I have ill health and taking responsibility for my health is not going to change that. But I can take responsibility for how I react, for the related choices I make and so on. I know I’ve written about my relationship between my mind and my body here and that change in my relationship vastly improved the way I felt about myself. Yes, I am ill. So I can choose self care, pain management etc. I can also choose to overdo it one day but now I am doing so consciously. Before my mind and body started to get on the same team, I would overdo it and then get angry with my body. Now, I can plan in rest time if I think I’m going to overdo it or I can choose to cancel plans rather than keep pushing through. But I do so knowing that I have made the decision to overdo it.
Right now, literally this moment as I type, I am making the decision to push my vertigo and I know I will make myself feel awful physically but equally I know that this will help clarify my thoughts and I know that this post is something I need to hear.
I wonder if this is one reason I’m not really into most religious ideas. A lot, not all, have this idea of a god who is there to blame and to thank. An external entity which has responsibility for your life.
I don’t know how much sense this will make to anyone who reads it but there you go…
Anyother example, I have depression. And depression sucks. To put it lightly. In one sense I am not really responsible for my depression – it’s probably a mix of nature and nurture – but I am entirely responsible for how I react to my depression. My ability to respond, my response-ability. And that takes me from a place where I am a victim of my brain chemistry to a place where I can respond kindly to myself, to do what I need to to keep myself mentally healthy, to a place where I am empowered.
I feel like there’s a muddle between empowerment and everything being shiny and rosy sometimes, especially online and in circles where empowerment is a nice buzzword. Empowerment doesn’t mean everything is great. It means you are embodying the power you need to react. Whether you react helpfully or unhelpfully probably isn’t the point. The point to me seems to be that you are in a place where you can, and feel you can, do something with your situation, choice, reaction etc. To feel you have some power in the way you live your life.
Anyway, vertigo is sharting to shout so I’m ending here…