Fault & Responsibility
I haven't had my coffee yet...may be why I'm doing this. Or, it may simply be mid life crisis.
I think my dog hates me (or rather us, my guy and I). I drive down the block with the intention of heading to Ralph's and half way down the block find that I'm unsure if I going the right way. I've made this trip a million times *exaggerating here. My cushy behind hurts from sitting at my desk, in my car, on the couch, at the dinning room table, the waiting room chair, on the toilet seat...at the spot in my life's journey that I want to move forward from.
So much of where we end up in life is up to us, and yet, so much of it isn't. How do you explain that?
I find myself having conversations with people around feeling at fault for all that's gone wrong in their lives and I am at a loss for where, or rather how to begin to respond to this, especially since I've struggled with said feelings on multiple occasions. How is a child who is raped, for instance, responsible for being raped? If you're thinking nobody thinks this... Well, I'm happy for you :) because I just heard someone say this to a large group of people.
Why do I use such an extreme example you ask? Because there seems to be this "thought" within some self help circles that you are responsible for what happens to you, and I think this is a very dangerous thing to teach people. It's great when all's going well, and you feel great about having manifested the present or future you desire; and for lack of a better expression, not so grand when the opposite occurs. There is a huge difference between fault, accountability and responsibility and the lines get blurred very easily (obviously because we are human, with very human brains, who have to co-exist with other humans, with very human brains!)
Your choices are yours. Own them: their consequences, rewards, etc.
That doesn't mean that when another human hurts you as a result of your choices, you were at fault. It's not that simple. This is real life. Unless you're dealing with certain branches of math and the sciences: physics, chemistry, thermodynamics..., there are no absolutes. Even my saying that there are no absolutes isn't an absolute fact. We can go down this rabbit hole, but lets not :)
When it comes to responsibility, accountability...know that they are not synonymous with fault. Yes, you are responsible for your decisions, actions, choices, thoughts, value system(s), etc (when Professor Charles Francis Xavier isn't in control of your mind, of course.) And, when things don't go well, decide to accept that they haven't gone as planned, decide to learn what you are capable of learning from that situation then, and of course, over time because no one learns "their lesson" the first time around. And then, make the next right decision you're capable of making and move forward. That's your singular responsibility.
Ok, I need to have my coffee now. Then I'll come back to read this, and probably go "what in the hell am I talking about!?" Afterward, I'll think carefully about how I came to write this, and next time, I'll drink coffee first :)
PS: I'm no expert, and I'm very human. Take this with a grain of salt. Just not in your coffee.