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Why Choose to be Responsible?

“We lead, inspire and mentor women to embrace their power, purpose, and value, and to take responsibility for their relationships.”  In previous blog posts we’ve discussed knowing your value, power, and defining your purpose.

Now we’re going to look at what we mean when we say “take responsibility.”  In the Family of Women, we acknowledge that we are responsible for every experience in our lives as a result of the choices we make.

What is it about that word “responsible?”  Do you hear fault and blame? The word “responsible” could be a hot-button.

Responsibility is not about fault and blame.  Dictionary.com defines responsible as “answerable or accountable, as for something within one’s power, control, or management.”  Your attitude, your behavior, and your response are always within your control and power, even when you don’t think they are.  

For example, if a tree falls on your roof in a hail storm, is that your responsibility/fault?  It’s not your fault that the tree fell, and it is your responsibility how you respond or react. Do you scream and rage and feel sorry for yourself, or do you begin to figure out what needs to be done and take care of your family’s immediate needs?  It’s ok to feel upset in the moment, it’s what you do that matters.

Here’s a look at a practical example of taking responsibility:  Change the oil in your new car when the periodic maintenance calls for it, or the engine could seize and put you (and anyone in the car) in inherent danger.

So, let’s talk a bit about being responsible for your relationships.  What are your responsibilities in all the relationships in your lives?  And why would you care about being responsible?

In any relationship you have, you are responsible for your attitude, your behavior, and your responses to that person.  That’s what we’re talking about.  You always have a choice in how you show up and participate in any relationship.  And, being responsible for your relationship does not include being responsible for the other person’s behavior.

I chose to raise my son based on what I learned my responsibility was in that relationship.  I always do my best to respect him as a man, son, and father.  The result of this is we have a deep, trusting, loving relationship.”  ~ Blanche


I used to be late for many appointments in my life.  I guess I felt that I could do one more thing before leaving the house.  And they would wait for me.  But what message did that send to the person I was meeting?  It was very disrespectful, and actually said, “I’m better than you.”  Now I choose to be on-time or early as a sign of my care and commitment to the person I’m meeting.”  ~ Cynthia

When you make a conscious choice to be responsible it makes a positive impact.  It can produce intimacy that was not there previously, or even make the space for some transformation in that relationship.  If you are not responsible in a relationship, you can run the risk of losing the relationship itself.  When you don’t choose to be responsible, be aware that choosing not to choose is making a choice.

Not to decide is to decide.” ~ Harvey Cox

What will your choice be?   Where do you choose to be responsible?

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