Responsibility 101

My sister-in-law speaks loudly. I am annoyed.

I had an epiphany yesterday. I said to myself “That is happening. I am doing this.” She was speaking. The words were loud (but, is loudness just relative?) My stomach tightened, and I thought unkind thoughts about her.

By removing any words having to do with causality, I not only became entirely responsible for my reaction, I also saw how silly it was to upset myself.

I have to confess that I had never noticed just how often I justify my actions as being perfectly reasonable responses to the “bad” behavior of others.

I’m now repeating this to myself several times a day. “That is happening. I am doing this.”

When we feel overwhelmed at work or in life, it might be useful to try this approach. If we do decide to “react” (i.e. “act”), we will do it with 100% responsibility. And we might just find that our actions are freer and kinder.

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