We are trained for many things through our upbringing, however very few of us were taught what we are truly responsible for. Our understanding of responsibility usually comes from a bunch of judgments we have created by observing our parents and environment. As a result when we grow older, we either:
(a) Operate as a ‘Parent’ to everyone, feeling overly responsible for other people’s well-being, trying to fix things for others, and doing beyond what’s necessary.
Or (b) Operate as a ‘Child’ where we are not responsible for anything and rely on someone else to take care of us, fix our problems, and clean up our messes.
Interestingly these two personalities tend to find each other and often end up getting married or becoming best friends, where one is constantly rescuing the other; after all, they need each other to keep their roles alive! Consider the distinction that operating as an ‘Adult’ means that you are fully responsible for all the choices you have ever made and the consequences of them, nothing more! You do this by taking accountability for all your choices, actions, interpretations and feelings, without judging yourself. Instead you are aware of your behaviour, and are willing to learn from it if it doesn’t work.
Think about where in your life have you taken on being accountable for other people’s actions, or avoided being accountable for your own actions? What would be different if you took complete responsibility for your own part?