“The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin
I began a seminar, off the heels of a three-day workshop I attended about the Self. Now, every Monday night, I engage with 150 others about relationships – not limited to the romantic variety, but about all kinds, the familial to the friendly.
On the second night of the weekly seminar, I was having a tough time being present. Unsure of my reasons, I assumed it was because I wasn’t enraptured by the leader, as I had been with my forum leader, Gary. Or perhaps it was because it was only one day a week, and it was difficult to maintain that momentum when the real world comes a’knockin.’ Or maybe it was because I was starving, exhausted, and that my social life resembles that of a 21 year-old USC fraternity brother.
Things have been chaotic recently in my life, on so many levels, and I was intent on laying low, safe, and in the back row. I’d show up, but I didn’t need to participate. And then I realized that was analygous to my recent relationships. Too often I only showed up, but didn’t participate nor take responsibility. I instead shifted blame, turned the other cheek, and saw what I wanted to see. In laying low, I was prone to inauthenticity regarding the part I play – their successes and their failures. So I decided to acknowledge my hesitation in becoming fully engaged in my Monday night workshop, and decided to leave it at the door last week.
That night, I was shown how relationships occur for me, and acknowledge that my actions are shaped by the context of how the world is occurring for me right now. Life was being lived by what the past said was possible. It was time I stood in being 100% responsible for my relationships. That doesn’t mean I’m a doormat, or that the other person is / was right. Instead, if I’m not 100% responsible, I’m at the effect of something. When we want another to be on the hook for something, we’re left as victims. So, my homework assignment was to notice anywhere in my life that I am at the effect of another person, in any way at all. Anywhere you are at the effect of someone, you’re not being 100% responsible.
There’s a quote I’ve always loved, of which I was reminded, in my constant throwing of stones, and portraying myself as a victim.
“People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” Okay. How about ‘Nobody should throw stones.’ That’s crappy behavior. My policy is: “No stone throwing regardless of housing situation.” Don’t do it. There is one exception though. If you’re trapped in a glass house, and you have a stone, then throw it. What are you, an idiot? So maybe it’s “Only people in glass houses should throw stones, provided they are trapped in the house with a stone.” It’s a little longer, but yeah.”
Anyway, taking 100% responsibility is the most freeing thing I’ve felt in a long time. Put the stone down. Be authentic and honest, 100% of the time. I urge you to try it.
The video above has nothing to do with this, but just made we smile. Kids are geniuses, and provide limitless laughter. Talk about being authentic. There’s nothing more authentic than kids.