Tuesday, January 12, 2010

responsibility free living

A year ago I gave up something and it was amazing...

I gave up being responsible for everything in my life.

In so doing I ended up taking the responsibility for knowing when something was
a) not my fault.
b) completely out of my control.
c) and it helped me to know when I was being victimized thereby enabling me to take appropriate action rather than just taking it.

A) For example, when I go up to feed my cows and see they look thin. I am upset. I feel responsible and like a failure. I want to make it better and resolve to do so. My day goes grey and I feel angry and frustrated.

However, upon closer examination I see that they are standing on piles of hay which they have decided is simply not good enough since it is not from the good bale they remember having the day before, it has been slept on and so is now to be considered bedding not feed, and while they thought it was exciting when it came from the new bale they now suspect that they were much happier with the familiar bale. Very bovine behavior.

Their not eating the hay I provide is not my fault.

B) It is my grandmother's 95th birthday. It has been planned for months. It is a BIG deal. A half-hour before I am supposed to be at the dinner, the pig decides that it is the right time to go into labor. A pig in labor is a thing to be held in awe, but I will save that for another time. I miss the dinner, but save 3 piglets from being squished and am a great comfort to the almighty Aurora Borealis. We both have a shot of cherry brandy and fall into a deep sleep.

Totally out of my control.

C) I walk into the horse pen to put their blankets on and in the process I get a swift kick on my knee. The 2 year old filly thought I was another horse sticking its nose where it had no right to go. She was reprimanded and reminded that she has to be careful when I am around her. It had nothing to do with me, other than my being there, and so in this situation I felt I was the victim and she the perpetrator.

Naturally every one of these situations could be turned around to show that I could feed the cows differently, could have walked away from the pig, and should have known better than to be around horses in the first place. But what would doing so benefit? I would become a slave to bovine temperament, have felt incredible guilt and sorrow about the piglets, and I can't imagine life without my horses.

The benefit of letting go of responsibility in these situations is as follows:
The cows now eat everything they are given and have put weight on, my family has come to understand that real life has its own agenda, I have one of those little piglets 5 years later, and Lila (said filly) has better manners and awareness, I have the freedom to chose my actions instead of the feeling that every choice leads to some negative consequence.

I think it is important to honor the power and value of blame as part of the process to empowerment. It is important to go through the anger of blame as I think it helps lead us to action. It needs to be honored and then transformed. By placing appropriate "blame" on a situation we can facilitate change of the situation. Simultaneously taking responsibility for our PARTICIPATION in the situation enables us to change our behavior as well as the circumstances surrounding the event.

Letting go of responsibility has freed me to have many more options as to how I want to react in any given situation.

I highly recommend it.

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