Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Taking Responsibility

Today the winds outside howled furiously, but I’m relieved we didn’t get two feet of snow dumped on us. I have several friends in the path of the major storm, but so far everyone is doing well, for which I am very grateful.

In the midst of all these storms and winds I’ve been doing some soul searching. I’ll spare you all the details of my thought process, because frankly, it’s kind of convoluted—to the point of scary. However, I have come to a realization that just might change my life forever. Are you ready for it?

I am the only one responsible for my life and my choices.

Not quite what you were expecting? Me neither. I mean, I’ve heard this over and over again so many times in life, but somehow something actually clicked for me this time, and I kind of mean that literally. I felt the click inside my soul, I swear it.

I’ve been facing a challenge lately (forgive my vagueness) that has really thrown me for a loop. My reaction has been to blame others. “They’re doing it wrong and that makes me mad, so it’s their fault I’m mad.” But nope, it’s not. I choose the anger, the bad attitude, the criticism, etc. And if I’m the one choosing it, I’m the one who has to take responsibility for it.

Taking responsibility can be a bitter pill to swallow—not gonna lie. Looking at all the things I don’t like about my life and finally accepting that they’re my own doing scares the crap out of me. But I also feel … empowered. Neither my circumstances, nor my genes, nor the nasty lady on the freeway who cuts me off can define me. Only I can.

Today on my way into work I walked into a virtual wind tunnel. The buildings were all lined up just right to magnify the already powerful winds, and I was momentarily stopped in my tracks. I was blinded by my hair being whipped in my face, my bag was almost ripped out of my hands, and I couldn’t breathe unless I turned my back on the wind.

One guy who was also caught off guard by the wind simply made a mad dash down the hill. I waited for the gusts to die down a little then slowly made my way down. Two girls behind me stayed at the top of the hill hollering into the wind.

And that’s life, friends. There are lots of wind and lots of storms, and we have to decide how to navigate them, or just keep screaming into them. But either way it’s our choice.

As I leaned into the wind today, fighting to make my way down the hill, I realized something else.

In taking responsibility for my life I’ve gotten back something I thought I had lost a long time ago: my fighting spirit.

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