I randomly found myself asking a couple of questions today. One was, “What does it mean to take complete responsibility for myself.” The other was, “Where is my power – really?”
Growing up in a pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic household, prayer was an entrenched tradition. Rote verses repeated daily paid homage to God and were offered out of love for, or fear of some unseen retribution. Of course there were the request prayers, too. Lots of praying to God, Jesus, the Virgin Mary, or some saint or other. They held the power. And while mostly benevolent, their rules did seem to me arbitrary with the magnanimous gift of free will discouraged for the most part.
The above is how my wee, childish brain understood things. Is it any wonder I didn’t get the concept of responsibility? I mean seriously, how could I be responsible for ANYTHING? “They” were pulling my strings, yanking my chain, and calling the shots. Ultimately outside forces arranged my life according to their own arbitrary set of rules. Why should I try? If I did and succeeded it would be because “they” deemed it so. On the flip side, if I fucked up, it was because “they” had decided I’d best crash and burn.
Like a lot of us, I settled because of some of those misconceptions. I had other reasons, too – lots of them – but primarily a lack of confidence and direction. Gradually, over time, I became proficient at excuses when really, I was just afraid to try.
Fear is a mighty force and a brilliant manipulator. We allow fear to mould us, put us into black holes of worry where we conjure up myriad ‘what-ifs’. I can see events shaped by fear quite clearly now having been spit out the other side of a geometrically defined region of spacetime. And with this new lens the pictures painted hide nothing. So many missteps. Damn. Oh well, water under the bridge as the adage goes. It’s gone on to its confluence. Happily now, so am I, actually.
When considering answers to those questions I started out with, merging plays a part. All the ups and downs, good and not so good bits come together to form a whole. Therein sits my power. How do I access it, though? By taking full responsibility for me.
I carved out quite a successful path as the tragic heroine and until the redo, didn’t have a clue I was in the clutches of that persona. While the form still exists, I’m pleased with my efforts to dismantle the image. She’s spectre like now rather than solid. Gosh, the woe-is-me stories! I’ve a million of ‘em. I can’t stand them now. They are the narratives of ‘excuse’.
My life is mine. My attitude is mine. My thoughts and feelings are mine, too. I have choices. The perception of how things are in a child’s mind has been replaced over time with the understanding and logic of an adult’s mind not weighed down with depression and its side-effects, but now activated by love. And that love is replacing the fear. Therein rests my power.
So tonight’s wish is for surrender. Grab your white flag and wave it proudly. You no longer need to be at the whim of another. You’ve raised that flag. You do not need to fight, to war, to worry. All you need to do now is to take responsibility for your own actions, your own heart and soul, your own thoughts. You’re all the power you need.