responsibility (aka my favorite coaching tool)
this tool will transform your life.
CW: mention of infidelity and sexual assault
i am the sole uncontested author of my life.
everything the light touches is my queendom.
what i see, i created.
my surroundings are my results.
sounds radical, doesn't it?
imagine that. you wake up in the morning and it's raining. the first thing you reach for isn't your phone or your toothbrush even, but the thought: i created this.
the concept may seem challenging at first but allow yourself to stay curious here. what is available when i look at things that i can reasonably be a victim to (and by victim i mean completely powerless on the face of a circumstance) like the weather, the mta or the family i grew up in and still choose to look at how i am creating (or at least continuously choosing) it?
i really learned this tool when i committed to creating a healthy romantic relationship, a forever love. up until that point, i had various partners inside of codependent dynamics and people who were, on some level, emotionally unavailable, when not outright abusive. the way i protected myself was with he story - men suck. i could, understandably, keep believing that. having had most of previous partners cheat on me, being sexually assaulted, countless non-committal encounters when what i wanted, and said out loud, was a forever love, i was entitled to be right about it. damn, i was right about it!
what that thought was creating was not winning or punishing the assholes (i now think of them as hurt people) that hurt me. i was hurting myself further, and keeping me from what i wanted.
so i got responsible.
if i were to be creating those results, what was i getting out of it?
through time i learned:
1- safety: i was repeating a known pattern, that i knew how to go through. it felt safer to know the outcome of a romantic relationship than to risk creating a love that was healthy but unpredictable.
2- being right about my hurt: because i didn't have a practice of making space for my grief and holding it as not only valid but sacred, i needed the external permission of "someone is hurting me" to allow myself to hurt.
3- dreaming felt prettier than reality: the real day to day of being in a romantic relationship could never be exactly like i dreamt it (because there was so much i didn't know!) and it had the potential to get hella messy. i was choosing to stay where i was because i could count on the dopamine injection of my imagination more than i could on a real person (or so i thought).
4- not losing what i had: it was possible that if i started to behave differently i wouldn't get the crumbs of attention i had anymore. staying in the same situation guaranteed that from time to time i would have someone to (half) share a bed with and a good (sad) story to tell my friends when they left.
once i got clear on what my payoffs were (read, what i was getting from pattern i was in and why i was choosing it) i understood what i would need to risk for a chance at love. in responsibility, there is always a choice. always a different path. and it doesn't mean we have to take it, but it means we know that if we are not, we are choosing it.
another thing i must say about responsibility: it is NOT the same as being guilty for what i am getting in life. responsibility comes from power, whereas guilt is another way we transform ourselves into victims, and this time, the perpetrator is our perceived brokenness or inadequacy. being to blame means there is a monster on the loose, a bad side to me that takes over when i am not vigilant and that is NOT what this work is about. we are not bad. we are not broken. we are deeply complex human beings who sometimes have competing commitments inside of us, and don't always have the awareness needed to make a different choice in every given moment (which we can get responsible for and commit to generating the awareness, see what I mean ;). responsibility is a tool, not a verdict.
so i invite you to get responsible. start with something low stakes and fun. if it's raining today, why might your soul have chosen that? is it time for a nap that you've been putting off? is it the perfect invitation to dance outside and get soaking wet because you said this would be your fun year and so far you haven't experienced that? then move to the things closer to your heart. when we are responsible, life's circumstances become our teachers and the monsters under our bed gently bow for us to mount and ride them towards our dreams.
this post is dedicated to all of my fuckboy teachers out there <3 hoping you have gotten responsible and found a way to let your heart be held too.
photo by Drew Reynolds