During a conference recently, I asked the question: “When I say the word responsibility what energy or feeling comes up?” The response ranged from raised eyebrows to grunts to an explanation of all the have-tos of parenthood/work/relationship. We all have “have-tos” in our lives, and if this Shift continues to unfold as it appears to be, there will be even more on our lists. Let’s face it, have-tos don’t always feel good. They can cause overwhelm and stress and general crabbiness. When one more thing is added to your list, do you cringe and feel a rush of energy (i.e., panic or dread)? When you hear the word “responsibility” how does it feel? What is your internal guidance system saying?
How can you eliminate have-tos from your life entirely? Or better yet, transform them into want-tos?
Which Have-Tos are Yours? The first step in crawling out from under that pile of overwhelming have-tos is to identify which ones are truly yours. In other words, what are you doing each day that is actually your personal responsibility, and which are you doing out of habit or fear? Which have-tos belong to someone else (and can be given back to them)?
Do any of these situations sound familiar?
1. Are you still having to pack the kids’ lunches for school?
2. Do you find yourself having to set your spouses clock or get them out of bed so they don’t miss appointments?
3. When you do delegate how often does the job not get done the way you would like and you then feel compelled to do it over because the thought of it not getting done correctly is too stressful?
4. When your spouse or child rushes to the school bus/meeting/airport at the last possible moment without their homework/briefcase/cellphone/passport do you feel stress in your body?
What else are you doing in your day that really isn’t your job?
Do you want to do these things, or are you doing them out of unconscious habit? Are you doing them because the alternative is too stressful for you? In other words, is it easier for you to just do this thing, rather than feel the anxiety of the consequence?
Have-Tos That Are Not Yours
Once you identify the have-tos in your day you can discern if they are truly yours. Begin to identify what is your responsibility and what isn’t. Then start allowing others to step up to their own power and be in charge of their experiences. If you keep picking up their fallen bicycle they will never learn to pick it up themselves. You’ve heard stories of 40 year olds still depending upon their mothers for things they can do on their own.
Begin to identify areas where you’re stepping beyond your boundary of responsibility. The first few times you watch your partner miss their appointment or flight, you might have that yucky feeling in your gut, or want to do it for them (or nag them about it). See if you can keep your mouth shut and allow them to experience maturity and their own personal responsibility.
The first few times you ask your employee to do this bit of new work, they may make mistakes (count on a learning curve). Be sure you have planned for plenty of extra time for them to fix it without your help. The next time they will be able to do it totally on their own. You can then give another piece of your job to them to master, so you have more time and room to do the creative things you want to do.
You no longer have to dress your 7 year old. You no longer have to pack the lunch for your 12 year old. If your spouse is late for the appointment because they didn’t set the clock, they will remember next time. Your friends and family will become more independent and responsible and happily pleased with themselves when they begin to manage their own lives.
It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you can take care of yourself. Your ten-year-old can pack their own lunch. Truly they can. Even five-year-olds (and 40-year-olds) can begin to be pleased with their mastery, whether it’s as simple as dressing or setting the alarm clock.
Leverage the Discovery for Your Personal Freedom
Discovering the have-tos that are not truly yours can be freeing, humbling, and rich in personal growth. How and why you got into the habit of have-to isn’t important. What’s important is the question, “How would it be possible for me to free myself from this habit in a masterful, respectful, and graceful manner?”
Once you discover this misplaced responsibility habit, begin to clear its energy out of your space. During your quiet or meditation time, use your tools to begin to slowly dissolve the energy in your space. Ask yourself, “Where in my space is the energy that keeps me feeling responsible for my partner’s/child’s fill-in-the-blank?” De-charge the magnet that drew that energy pattern to you in the first place.
You don’t have to know who put it there or why. Simply pretend it’s a color and notice where it’s stuck your body and/or your energy field. Take however long it takes to move it out. That energy pattern has been in your space for perhaps a very long time. It may take a while to clear out all the pieces and residue. The Rose and Grounding Cord are powerful tools and a good place to begin. Click here for the Fundamental Tools.
This is an amazing time to be living on Mother Earth. You purposely chose this time of Shift to clear out who-you-are-not and reclaim who you are. The only Have-To you have right now is to do everything you can to be who you came here to be. And allow others the room to step up to their roles too.
Next week: Part two: Transforming Have-Tos into Want-Tos