It’s important to distinguish between responsibility for and responsibility to. Two small prepositions, one big difference.
Worry is one of the most debilitating elements of stress in our country. It seems so innocuous but it is really damaging.
Worry does little to change a situation and it does a lot to negatively affect one’s physical and emotional system. It can affect one’s digestive system, cardiovascular system, and emotional sensing system. It can even result in a pain disorder which has no direct connection to any specific system and create a feeling of fatigue and lack of will. Worry interferes with our capacity to be present to intuition.
Meditation and mindfulness have a positive effect on all of these systems and can counteract the debilitating effects of worry.
This is where the twelve step phrase helps to begin to distinguish between what requires action or attention and what is out of one’s sphere of control. The serenity prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference between the two.
Mindfulness and paradigm shifting are ways to increase your ability to remove your energy from that over which you have no control, and place your attention onto those things where you can effect change.
Staying empowered and mindful also helps to distinguish for which people and things you are responsible and to which people and things you are responsible.
I have noticed a degree of confusion on this subject. We are not actually responsible for making other people’s lives work or for their happiness, we are responsible to them, to do the things we have agreed to do. In fact this is where there have been some missteps in the rights and responsibilities relationship.
Responsiblity for is a co-dependent concept when attributed to relationships other than young children. Co-dependent relationships impede our ability to connect to our own personal power.
Co-dependency is where two people come together to make one – not in the universal we are all one theory but in a reductionist philosophy – they are two halves alone and only make one together.
We are responsible to each other; healthy relationships are interdependent. Interdependency is where two whole beings come together and make something that is more than one through their interdependent relationship. They are not reduced by their separation and they are increased by their connection.
Responsiblity to has to do with being reliable, having integrity, mindfulness, and balance of self and other needs and expectations; it is an increasing type of expansion through connection that is not reductive. It is a very important component of having healthy, positively functioning relationships.
So over the course of the next few days notice when you begin to worry and apply the serenity prayer to see if you are funneling energy away from yourself.
Also look at your relationships and see if you’re giving away something to be in them – try to mindfully evaluate if they are interdependent or co-dependent.
If you find that you are participating in worry, or relationships that zap your energy rather than increase you, see how you can restructure those situations and/or relationships so that you are responsible to, interdependent, and positively functioning interactively.
See you tomorrow.