Evading Responsibility

I don’t know about you, but I was raised to be responsible.  Very, very responsible.  I was able to take on many tasks and carry heavy loads because I was always so responsible.  Gave up weekends, felt compelled to care for others’ needs without worrying about myself because of fear of looking selfish and an inflated sense of responsibility.  Feeling that things I had no control over were somehow my fault.  Because I was very responsible.

Superheroes get their logos- Superman his “S”, Wonder Woman her “WW”, and Batman his bat.  I have always worn my “R” proudly. 

Lately, though, I have worked on reducing my tendency to overcommit and worry.  Sometimes it feels like I am guilty of the crime of “Evading Responsibility.” (yes, I know it has to do with car accidents, but it just seems to fit.)  I recognize that not every negative or unpleasant thing that happens around me is my fault, and I need not take on other people’s failures.  There is so much in the world I can’t control but if I take personal responsibility for what I can impact, and let others take charge of their own, I can have much more peace of mind. 

I wonder if other people are in the same boat?  Do you have the same tendencies?   If you do, what helps? Do you set limits? Meditate?  Exercise? 

I have a feeling there are many of us out there who take on far too much out of a feeling of duty and responsibility.  Here at Seek Your Center I’ll be exploring and sharing ways to help my own peace of mind, and others at the same time.  Not because I feel responsible for you, but because I care, and the world will be a much better place. 

Grief, Stress, and Feeling Rudderless

Five months plus six days ago, life was good.  I felt safe and secure, cherished and protected by a husband who smiled at me with hearts in his eyes every time I walked into the house.  While money was not exactly pouring in, we had two incomes and could live quite comfortably, never really having to forgo a night out or a new pair of shoes, watch, or other small extravagance.  My career was very stressful, but knowing I would be able to relax in the evenings with the man who made me feel like royalty made it bearable.  Our time together was, (while not perfect... we did have disagreements...) meaningful, joyful, and loving. 

Then the unthinkable happened.  I awoke on the morning of November 3rd, 2014, to find my husband lying lifeless in bed, gray and unmoving.  In that instant, my heart, my security, indeed, my world, shattered. 

Winslow Homer's The Gulf Stream

Winslow Homer's The Gulf Stream

Since that day, I have at times felt adrift; a rudderless boat in a violent storm.  On the surface, everything is fine.  Underneath, I am trying to find a new normal- a new course, identifying what is important and beginning to live intentionally. Sometimes I feel like the man in the boat picture- alone, trying to stay afloat and steer clear of the hungry sharks while being buffeted by chaotic waves and being chased by the tempest on the horizon. 

I do know that the shore and safety are reachable, and there are rescuers in those who love me, but a few of the gales are meant for me to survive with my own knowledge, heart, wisdom, courage, and God's guidance.  Some lessons cannot be taught, only learned, and while I know my loved ones would strive to protect me from those, they are my own to bear and work through.

Positivity, love, creativity, and optimism have long been my hallmark traits.  They still are.  Grief, bereavement, loss, sadness, and fear of the future are also a part of me now, and I know I can work to incorporate them without damaging my body, mind, spirit or soul- breath by breath, step by step, day by day.