Can You Take Responsibility?
A central part of healthy self-esteem is an individual's ability to take responsibility for their choices and actions. We will not lead healthy, successful lives if we are unable to take personal responsibility for the choices we make. What does personal responsibility look like? According to Dr. Brandon personal responsibility looks like this: I am responsible for the achievement of my desires. I am responsible for my choices and actions. I am responsible for the level of consciousness I bring to my work. I am responsible for the level of consciousness I bring to my relationships. I am responsible for my behavior with other people - coworkers, associates, customers, spouse, children, friends. I am responsible for how prioritize my time. I am responsible for the quality of my communications. I am responsible for my personal happiness. I am responsible for accepting or choosing the values by which I live. I am responsible for raising my self-esteem. And I would add that I am responsible for aligning my beliefs with the word of God. I am responsible for learning how to turn my life and will over to God and I am responsible for entering into God's grace and applying this grace to whatever situation I am in. I am responsible for learning how to trust God and enter His rest. Being responsible means that I am answerable, accountable for those things which are in my power to control and manage. It also means that I do not assume responsibility for those things that are not under my direct control (like other people and their choices). It is impossible to really love ourselves and others if we are unable to take personal responsibility for our lives. Our love for others corresponds directly with our love for ourselves. Our ability to love ourselves is directly correlated to our level of self-esteem. God says we need to give up childish ways if we are to really love one another, if we are really to understand love(1 Corithians 13:11). Love is the goal! Jesus made that very clear when he said in Mark 12, "And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the first and principal commandment. The second is like it and is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these." Loving yourself is essential if we are going to love our neighbor, loving yourself requires growing up and not expecting others to save you, its not doing for others what they can and ought do for themselves. Love requires your whole heart, soul and mind! Many of us tend to either be overly responsible, doing things way beyond the call of duty, usually out of fear or people pleasing, or irresponsible, allowing others to carry burdens we ought to carry ourselves, allowing others to do things for us we are perfectly capable of doing, usually as a result of deep insecurity and feelings of not being good enough. Neither of these comes from a healthy ability to love ourselves, but just the opposite: self-abasement.
This week, think about how you may need to take more personal responsibility for the various aspects of your lives and ask God to give you practical application and ways of doing so. As you begin to increase your consciousness in this area God will move and show you the directions that's necessary for you to go. You can trust him for the outcome if you do your part! -Christina Samyan, MSW, LCSW