Monday, April 15, 2013

FREEDOM: Not Responsible for Others

FREEDOM comes when we understand
that we can respond to the needs of others and be present to them wherever they are without being responsible for them and their choices in this life.

Most of my life, I have felt overly responsible for others, carrying the heaviness of their life challenges on my shoulders and in my mind, body, heart and soul.  My joy, my peace, my happiness was contingent upon whether everything was okay for everybody in my life (friends, family, employees, clients), tying my energy unconsciously to them and jumping off the cliff into the muck with them instead of standing my ground, staying in my lane, living my life and allowing them to live their life.  

I watched myself become resentful of people I loved.  When they would call seeing their name and number come up on the phone, I would begin grunting as I was instantly filled with dread.  But if I didn't take their call, I felt guilty.  I would go into the shoulds which is always guilt and shame, beating myself up for being selfish and not being a good friend to those in need, playing out the savior and martyr complex.  This crazy talk was relentless until the clarity came when I realized that I was intervening in their soul's journey, padding them from life's harshness, believing they needed me to help instead of trusting they could meet what came and experience all that life had to reveal to them.

Now, no longer feeling responsible for others, I can meet them where they are and not take on their heaviness.  I listen.  I offer words of encouragement.  I respect their individual soul's journey.  I remind them that they can meet whatever comes and to exercise their power of choice and trust their self.  This is responding to their needs NOT being responsible for them.  This is freedom!

Last Saturday night, I walked into a restaurant where I know everyone to grab dinner.  When the bartender saw me, he immediately said You need to call (let's just say Mary).  She is worried about you!  Not being responsible for others and whatever they are feeling even around me, I replied without a thought I don't need to call Mary.  She enjoys worrying.  This is the truth.  Mary, a mutual friend of ours, loves to worry so I was just her focus for now.  It is a way of being for her and I am free in knowing this.  This isn't judgment; it is my experience of her.  She has choices and I don't need to call her and convince her not to worry about me.  I truly have better things to do with my life! 

Carrying around the responsibility for others - their perceptions, their habits, their choices SUCKS the life out of us.  And I just want to LIVE my life knowing that freedom comes from my choices.  I choose ME.  From this choice, I am a much truer friend who can honor and love people exactly where they are without agenda, not trying to change them or force them to make choices that I believe are best for them.

Cut yourself 100% responsible for your life and let others be 100% responsible for their life. 

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