Self Responsibility and Waking Up

  1. A Way Inside: red pill, blue pill
  2. The Illusion of a Self
  3. What is being awake?
  4. The Cool Heat of Passion
  5. On Change and Choice
  6. It Is What It Is
  7. Self Responsibility and Waking Up

Synopsis: self responsibility is all about bringing yourself under your own control, and accepting that you are in charge of you.

self responsibility
My latest painting, and the lovely Darbella

So, here we are at the end of a 10-part series, on “Self Responsibility.” I trust you’ve made sense of what I’ve written, and are beginning or continuing to see ways to apply what we’ve been discussing.

I thought I’d use a photo of a painting I just completed of Darbella; just because.


First, I’ve been painting again, which is neat. I’ve completed 4 so far this trip back to Canada, and have couple more ready to start. I thought 5 would be the magic number, but apparently, it’s higher.

Second, back when we were doing therapy together, our therapist used to call Dar “The Buddha,” which is actually not so far-fetched. She certainly does “get” all of this most of the time, and even more importantly for me, has the patience to put up with me, especially when I struggle.

And of course, I do!

This self responsibility stuff is annoying–I choose to annoy myself over it. Mostly when I’m doing “indignant,” which is my pet go-to behaviour when things aren’t going the way I think they ought to, as I tend to have pretty good “eyes” for what’s up, and a very short temper.

Now, back in the old days, that meant I yelled. Now, I seethe. See? Big improvement!

Actually, it is, though, because I choose it. As opposed to playing the very familiar, “This is how I am” card. And all of this comes back to choice.

We talked about that. Choice. Back in week 8. Change and choice. Remember?

Well, the most popular excuse in the world is to blame “whatever” — parenting, genes, disposition, situations and circumstances — for not making better choices. In truth, it’s just easier.

And easy seldom is. It is familiar. however.

It takes a ton of maturity, otherwise known as self responsibility, to continually choose to wake up and choose differently. To take the other path. To use your eyes and ears and really figure out what’s going on.

Easier, far easier, to pull out old behaviour, and then apologize for the mess.

As I said, I’ve been known to do this. And sure, I could blame it on my upbringing, or on being short.

A particularly weird story has it (according to my mom) that I was being picked on, this in 3rd grade. The gym teacher, also short, took me aside and said I had to learn to defend myself with my mouth. I did. I became great at finding weak points and exploiting them. I avoided fights by destroying people from the inside.

I still want to. Oh boy, do I want to. I just don’t.

Because, being awake is important to me.

So, since 1982, I’ve bit my tongue. Well, at least I don’t direct my bile at the people involved. I find more caring and helpful ways to address things. But, as Dar often hears, I still have those choice bits in mind.

And once in a while, carefully, I might just toss one out!

A couple of weeks back we were in Spanish class, and this guy started rearranging tables. The prof asked him to stop, but he really wanted all of us to do it his way. After 30 seconds, I said, “Oh, for Pete’s sake, sit down and shut up!” But I said it in a way that caused him to start laughing.

That’s me, nearly losing it. Over tables.

But actually lose it I don’t. Because I don’t like the me I am when I do. So, I stop me. I don’t expect other to stop me, or to behave, or to make my life easy for me.

I stop me.

This is what self-responsibility looks like. It’s a dance… with yourself. A parade… with only you walking. It’s a solo act, witnessed by the masses.

It’s all about you.

So, go for it! Find your sticking points, and get out the WD40.

What are you waiting for?

About the Author: Wayne C. Allen is the web\‘s Simple Zen Guy. Wayne was a Private Practice Counsellor in Ontario until June of 2013. Wayne is the author of five books, the latest being The. Best. Relationship. Ever. See: –The Phoenix Centre Press

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