This past weekend I read a 29-page ebook that has kept me up for two nights. The book, while short, had a powerful message and was centered around one sentence: I AM 100% RESPONSIBLE. Now, that doesn’t sound like much, and believe me I wasn’t immediately moved. But, as my weekend went on, I couldn’t get those words out of my head: I AM 100% RESPONSIBLE. Hmmmmm…..something about that sentence is making me uncomfortable.
In the book, the author talks about making choices and more importantly, taking ownership of those choices. He talks about his own personal experiences of being unhappy in his job, but blaming his mortgage and other bills as the reason why he couldn’t leave. He talks about how out of shape he was, but was convinced he didn’t have time to work out because he worked such long hours. He then shares his story of a personal relationship gone wrong, and cites all of the things she did wrong as the cause. He woke up one morning and realized he was spending too much time “hoping, blaming, complaining and not taking action”. That is when he decided to take 100% responsibility for everything that was preventing him from living the life he actually wanted.
Now I’m thinking….”I have a job I’m not completely happy with….I mean, I know what I want to do…but, I am a single mother of 2 teenage kids…they need a stable environment, and clothes, and shoes, and college tuition….yes, I’ve picked up a few pounds….but I need to come straight home after work and make sure homework is done and do other parenting things….yes, I’m single, just out of a 10 year “relationship”….but it ended because of his lies, his attitude and his inability to commit….yes, I have more outgoing cash than incoming cash some months…but that’s because….…..”
My sleepless nights have made me realize that I have become the queen of sitting around thinking about what could have been if only I had done this instead of that. Lately, I have been sitting around mad at myself for letting a relationship that should have ended 10 days after it started, go on for 10 years. Mad at him for the 10 years of my life I “wasted”. But, he never made me any promises or commitments. He was clear from the beginning about who he is and would always be. He didn’t make me stay, and it’s time I took ownership of that.
I have been convinced that because of my age, my weight, my single parent status, etc, etc, etc, I would not find a stable, loving relationship; so I compromised my values and took what I could get from a man who had no interest in a the things I was looking for in a relationship. MY CHOICE. I spent plenty of nights alone, crying, wondering where he was and who he was with yet welcomed him with open arms when he finally called or showed up. MY CHOICE. I filled my loneliness with one night stands and other destructive behavior. MY CHOICE. I financially invested in him thinking it would somehow show him how much I actually cared. MY CHOICE.
Today, I have decided to conscientiously make different choices. Yes, I have a job I am not completely happy with; but I choose to work that job until I can walk away and spend my free time working on doing what I ultimately want to do for a living. Yes, I am still a few pounds overweight; but I choose to spend at least 30 minutes a day doing some type of physical activity instead of sitting on the couch surfing the internet. Yes, I still have more cash outflows than inflows; but I choose to find ways to cut my expenses and begin to dig out of this financial hole.
And yes, I am still single; but I choose not to be in hurting, unhealthy, destructive relationships that in the end bring me no joy, just for the sake of a relationship. Today, I choose to be 100% responsible.