Responsibility comes up constantly in my daily life. What am I responsible for and do I really want that are questions I have been looking into for some time.
What is responsibility?
„If you have responsibility for something or someone, or if they are your responsibility, it is your job or duty to deal with them and to take decisions relating to them.“ (From Collins dictionary)
For me responsibility is one answer to the gift of life.
As the oldest of four children I have learned to act responsibly early. This is perhaps the reason why I have a tendency to feel responsible easily. I am often the first one to volunteer thus adding more responsibility.
I like to take responsibility
It is natural for me to also have the greater good in mind. This has probably why I am working as a healer.
I have collected many interesting experiences volunteering. I was
- Caring for disabled youth
- Working in an international student exchange program
- Helping in my children´s schools
- Organizing a polling station
- 5 years as a lay judge
- Mentee for refugees
Responsibility for our children
I used to believe that we as parents have the lone responsibility for our children. Now I know that even a baby makes choices and has some responsibility for itsself.
I am aware that I am quick to interfere when my children do something differently than I see fit. My husband is cooler in that respect, which is good for our children. I always fight with myself to accept and support the decisions of my children best as I can. At the same time I want to live my values of caring and parenting. This is a constant struggle that I probably share with many parents.
Example: How many rules does a family need?
This depends on the children. Our girls honoured the few rules we set. I learned how different that can be when we had a French exchange student living with us for three months. She needed stricter rules for Internet use, coming home etc.
Parenting changes drastically with puberty. Form then on we can only offer our help and set an example.
My son was less than ten years old when he started rooting for more autonomy. He needs different very parenting than the girls. I can only try and experiment. This is quite a challenge for me.
Thankfully my intuition tells me that my children will succeed on their paths. They will probably do this much differently than I imagine. I am still working on really getting to that.
Responsibility in my practise
I have the privilege to accompany people in difficult situations. I help them to find their unique paths. They are unique individuals who each live very different lives.
I don´t take over their responsibility during our work. My clients always stay responsible for themselves. I am a reliable supporter as long as they need it. This is why they can contact me between our sessions. I see that I am doing that well because my clients don´t become dependent on me.
Responsibility for yourself
I had to learn that I am only able to support others efficiently when I take care of myself, too.
I regularly take on pro bono work. At the moment I support a friend who is battling with cancer. I look carefully how I can do this without overwhelming myself. We are both experimenting with what works best for both of us and are still figuring this out as we go along.
Why is it important to take responsibility for myself?
I have learned that
- I have to look after myself before I can be really there for others
- I harm myself when I don´t do that
- Life is much easier when I feel well
The inside is as important as the outside
I realised that I had to take care of me when I had a depression in my mid-thirties. It forced me to finally give attention to my inner self.
In my daily life I try now to be more aware of:
- My inner balance
- What I am doing and why
- My personal development
This way I get to know and accept myself better. I am aware of my life goals and values and honour them. This makes me more content and balanced.
Of course I am still much better in theory than in practise: Life is all about applying and trying.
We all need the courage to look where it hurts. In these Corona times there are a lot of opportunities to practise that.
Trauma and Corona
A lot of people are becoming aware of their traumas at the moment. The Corona pandemic and the changing of many structures are causing that. These traumas want our attention because they block our personal development.
Traumas keep us in place like rubber bands: We move a little and wham! we are right back where we started.
Indicators of trauma
- The feeling of getting nowhere
- Again this situation!
- Constant discontentment
- Feeling helpless
Why do I know that? I not only work with my clients on their traumas. I addressed some traumas of my own and got help moving through then during the last year.
Responsibility for humanity
Besides the responsibilities for us and our children we are also responsible for the greater good. Without that our society could not function.
Example: Refugees in Germany
When over a million refugees flooded into Germany in 2015 we Germans surpassed ourselves. Without the millions of volunteers who took responsibility fast our social system would have collapsed.
For three years I have volunteered in a refugee camp near my home. I still am a Mentor of a single mother.
I was surprised by the engagement and creativity of my fellow Germans. I understood: When a lot of us take and share responsibility we can change the world easily.
Responsibility for our planet
We might not be welcome on this planet much longer. The earth is struggling for a new equilibrium. It is our responsibility to change our ways. She ideally will find a new balance where humankind still has a place.
Initiating change is not easy or comfortable. Change only seems to start when we are uncomfortable enough.
Putting us first is egotistic?
A lot of people think that putting yourself first is egotistic and therefore bad. In my opinion this egotism is necessary for us to become a happy and productive part of society. We are not able to use our whole potential otherwise.
Living with uncertainty
We don´t have any experience with climate change and pandemics. We don´t know what the future will bring and what we should do.
We have the responsibility to acknowledge that feeling helpless is okay.
We have to experiment a lot. This means failing again and again. How else should we find what works? The important thing is not to give up.
I experience again and again how resilient we humans are; as individuals and as species. This is why I am still optimistic. We have all we need to meet the challenges ahead.
When you support need on your path please contact me for a free consultation.
Pictures: Pixabay und private
© Inge Schumacher