Take up your life….? (Becoming more personally responsible for your own life)

by Rod Smith

You frequently write: “steel yourself” and “hold onto yourself” and “take up your life.” What do you mean?

Take up your life

Take up your life

Your problems cannot be “solved” or “fixed” by reading this or any column. In fact, they will not be “fixed” even if you read this column, watch Dr. Phil daily and visit a therapist on a weekly basis. These would be, at best, helpful catalysts. At worst, you’d be wasting a lot of time and using yet another means to avoid facing your issues.

The “answer” to your life’s issues (if there is one – you might have to go with an approximation), no matter how large they may appear to you, or how trivial they may appear to others, always rests first with you. Healing begins when you gather up your metal, brace yourself for change, and decide to “take a hold of yourself” and address head-on the problems and complexities you face. “Steeling yourself” is gathering your strength (even if it is minimal) to do what you must do to begin your own process of recovery, healing, or untangling from unhelpful entanglements.*

Even if you have been a victim, grew up in severely adverse circumstances, and both your parents were alcoholics while you were destitute and hungry, your healing and maturity pivots, not on more sympathy, more empathy, or more understanding. it is not “out there” in some book you are yet to read, or on some website you are yet to discover, some guru you are yet to run into, or on some lover you are looking to meet. It is ALWAYS dependent on your acknowledgment of your role in how your life has unfolded (your response to whatever has happened, is currently happening, and will happen to you) and will continue to unfold. It is dependent on you shedding yourself of ALL “victim thinking” and of ALL blame. It is ALWAYS dependent on you taking personal responsibility for your decisions as much as you are able at THIS time (now, today!). This is what I mean by “take up your life.”

I am very aware of this being an unpopular message in an age and a time when “quick-fixes” are offered at every click of the mouse, pointing of the remote, and book shelves abound with every Tom, Dick, and Sally’s offer to deliver you into a perfectly fulfilling life. Sorry, it just doesn’t work like that. Until you become your own “Knight in shining armor” you might always remain a “damsel in distress,” albeit an insightful one!

* For me, a helpful metaphor is to imagine a diver on the edge of a high diving board. He or she STEELS him or herself before taking the leap.

2 Comments to “Take up your life….? (Becoming more personally responsible for your own life)”

  1. I stole a phrase some years back: “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” Of course, that is done within “approximation” too. 🙂

    I like that you focus on recovery. At the same time you seem compassionate and very aware of the process that goes with that recovery. And that all is on a continuum and approximation. 🙂 (My new word…approximation. ha! thanx!)

    I am becoming a fan of you blog! I’ll continue to read! (The ‘power’ of Twitter reigns again. hahaha)

    Carol Welch

    btw: In process of ‘building’ my blog I want to focus on recovery. You (along with certain others) have helped influence that decision…which came upon me in the wee morning hours today.

  2. RE-garding your plea for personal RE-sponsibility, I concur for the following RE-asons …

    Once you are knowledgeable, then you can build RE-asonable expectations.
    Once you are aware, then you can RE-tain perspective.
    Once you are RE-sponsible, then you can RE-late to others.
    Once you are trustworthy, then you can RE-ciprocate a favor.
    Once you are hard working, then you can RE-spect yourself.

    Once you RE-member, then you will be RE-alistic.
    Once you learn, then you will be RE-silient.
    Once you forgive, then you will be RE-conciled.
    Once you live, then you will be RE-sourceful.
    Once you RE-peat, then you will be a RE-sounding success.

    While no-one can RE-quire these things of you, without RE-cognizing your personal RE-sponsibility for your own life and waiting for others to RE-spond before committing to RE-ly on them, then you will only RE-peat your experiences and RE-inforce your own mistaken perceptions.

    Personal RE-sponsibility … why bother ?

    Because without the RE- it is only a –lationship and where is the fun in that !



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