In a previous post, I talked about conscious choice, specifically in the example of choosing to respond to a situation rather than react to it. One of the things that I think sometimes creates a barrier to making a conscious choice in those situations is the responsibility that comes with it. You see, when you react to a situation you can say things like “I’m sorry I didn’t mean that, I just over reacted.” There’s no real sense of responsibility for what took place in the moment. But if I start to practice being more aware and making a choice as to how I want to respond, then suddenly I’m responsible for that. The good, the bad and the ugly.
If I make a choice to honor my values, boundaries and desires for myself and my relationships and I respond in a way that aligns me with those things, what happens when someone doesn’t like it? What kind of discomfort am I willing to stand in? And can I also take responsibility for when I make a mistake and I react to a situation, but then want to come back and try again in a different way?
All of these questions and many more seem to plague us and get in the way of us responding in a way that we would really like to be able to. But here’s the thing to remember, there’s no single, solid right way to do this. You get to respond to situations in any way that feels right for you. You typically don’t have to justify it. You get to do it right, then at times mess it up and try again. And then you get to stand in the uncomfortable place of taking responsibility for yourself when you know it’s the right thing to do, but it isn’t well received by everyone. But you also get to take responsibility for trying again and not having to make an excuse for bad behavior because you’ve already been accountable to yourself, which honestly usually feels amazing.
My favorite part of valuing my own choices and being intentional about “owning" my choices, is that then I also get to own the results too. I get to celebrate my own accomplishments. I get to reap the benefits of feeling aligned, centered, self-affirmed and self-valued. I don’t have to get any of that from someone else. I mean it’s nice when the people in my life support those things and affirm and value what I’m doing, but we can't really rely on others for those things to start with.
So maybe there are some specific situations in your life that you have a hard time responding in a way that you would like to. Maybe you are being reactive in an effort to defend or protect yourself from something. I get it. But what would happen if you took the breath, and took that moment to choose…like really make a choice? And then you got to take responsibility for yourself, for your choice and your results. Maybe it doesn’t always end in rainbows and chocolate cupcakes, but I bet it will feel better. You should try it.
With a brave heart,