True Responsibility

I spent most of my childhood and much of my life feeling overwhelmed and burdened by what I thought was true ‘responsibility’. In the culture and family environment I was born into, responsibility was all about family first and taking care of everyone else’s needs before my own. This constant focus on others’ needs first is what I believed true responsibility to be.

Growing up, strong expectations were placed upon me both as a girl and as the eldest child in a family of five sisters. My father and mother worked all day on the family farm and would set tasks for me each day, including looking after my younger siblings.

At the age of four, I found myself a prime carer for two younger sisters, changing nappies and feeding them, and being fully responsible for their care until my parents came back from work. As I got older I had to ensure that the housework was done, and the family’s meals were prepared – all on top of my day at school!

If something had not been done ‘the right way’ or even when others misbehaved, I was made to take full responsibility and as the oldest was made the example – being punished regardless of what the situation was and who was truly at fault.

In this environment I became overwhelmed with a sense of always being responsible for everyone else and with no self worth. I lived in constant anxiety and fear of what could go wrong next. Physically, my body ached and I could not sleep at night. I felt trapped, and in the hardest times, I would go to a place where I felt safe and just cry.

As a result of feeling like nothing I did seemed to be good enough, I became someone obsessed with doing everything ‘right’, a perfectionist in my work, the way I lived and everything I did.

I found myself in a constant state of stress, setting ever-higher standards for myself in completing every job, something I took well into my adult years. When I had a family of my own, all of these patterns and behaviours just intensified. I was an extremely nervous person, always needing to control what went on with everyone in the family, and also in my workplace.

I suffered from depression, and reached a point where I did consider suicide. I was chronically exhausted, overwhelmed, often angry, and constantly unwell.

It was not until I came to the work of Universal Medicine at age 54, and began attending workshops presented by Serge Benhayon, that I began to get a sense of what responsibility truly is. Finally here was a man who made so much sense!

Through Serge’s teachings and the Universal Medicine workshops I have attended, I have come to truly understand that true responsibility starts with myself first and foremost.

As the realisations dawned, that I had chosen to be responsible for everyone and everything around me first, I felt I had made a mess of not only my life, but that of all of my family members. Always helping everyone and fixing things had made me feel good about myself, and needed. It was a way of avoiding the deep hurt I still felt from my childhood.

It was a powerful and deeply humbling moment when I realised that in taking on responsibility for others, I did not allow them to be who they truly are; to live and learn from making their own choices in life.

And so from applying what I learnt from attending Universal Medicine courses, I made a choice to be responsible for myself first. This point marked a ‘turn-around’ in my life. Holding my behaviours in such loving understanding allowed things to change. I am still learning, but I now have tools to work with every day.

Being aware of how I am living with myself and how my body feels is the key to no longer harming self or others through the controlling behaviours I’d lived by.

I find I am so much kinder to myself and that the need for perfectionism is, amazingly, loosening its hold. I notice this in the way I work and deal with even the smallest of things every day.

Knowing the truth of responsibility is the greatest gift I could ever be given. And, it is a gift I give to myself. I do not blame my parents for all that happened, as they did not know any better. What reflection did they have of what true responsibility really is? I feel they did the best they could.

Responsibility is beautiful.

I truly love being me, knowing in my heart that I am committed to making loving choices from which I can learn and grow. To have let go of the hurt has opened up so much joy in my life. At age 60, I have never felt better. I live life feeling pretty amazing every day, and rejoice in knowing and living true responsibility as a beautiful blessing.

Thank you Serge Benhayon, for reflecting how beauty-full it is to be truly responsible.

By Kathy Avram, Melbourne, Australia

Further reading:
The Importance of Self Responsibility
True Change: Self-responsibility Inspired by Universal Medicine

1,317 thoughts on “True Responsibility

  1. It is only when we are willing to take true responsibility that we can start to see and feel change. What you share is so important ‘true responsibility starts with myself first and foremost.’

  2. “Always helping everyone and fixing things had made me feel good about myself, and needed. It was a way of avoiding the deep hurt I still felt from my childhood”.
    How true is this for so many of us?
    This is our way to avoid being responsible for ourselves first and foremost . Why can we not go there first and foremost? We need to address this self loathing energy within first. We are taught to judge and flog ourselves for everything. We forget from whence we came as divine souls.Instead we are taught that we are all sinners, if you went to church and aligned to such guff, and we are mislead into believing we are not worthy of love. So we desperately seek it from others to get that recognition and approval. To feel worthy of love.

    1. Irena thank you for your sharing. I loved what you shared about if we went to church we were told we were sinners and so we would look outside of us for love. I now realise that religion played a big part of my life of how I was set up from young to believe that I was not worthy of anything because of us being a sinner and that God judges us in every way, if we are not good. From that foundation you feel you need to be responsible for everyone and everything in life and live in a certain way that is not allowing anyone to take responsible for self or others for their choices so that we live in separation from who we truly are.

  3. What you have shared here Kathy is prevalent in many cultures as the way to be the best mother, brother, sister, grandparent etc. The focus is on giving all and leaving a depleted person behind. It has become an accepted norm that is often fuelled generation after generation when we choose not to feel what is truly going on or like yourself coming to the realisation that this is not healing but harming in the long run. This blog is a great reminder of how true responsibility starts with oneself and what we offer another is in equalness – nothing more or less!

  4. The way the word responsibility is often used, makes it feel like it is a burden, an obligation, something serious and heavy. But this is not the case. Responsibility is about living who we are – that is our only true responsibility.

  5. Thank you Kathy for this gorgeous blog – as ever it was so timely for me to read your words. I hear in no mistakable way how us cherishing what we need, honouring our body, and how we feel is always super supportive for everybody. Such an irony when you strip away all the ‘must-do’s’ and ideas that we have about how we should lead our life!

  6. I find it interesting how you felt a sense of “needing to be responsible” for most of your life until meeting more of your truth once again after meeting Serge Benhayon. Then you felt how much this responsibility was not true for you at all and was not the way you wanted your life to be. What an amazing insight this is as this shows the influence ideals have on us on even subtle levels and how much we do base our lives on feeling – but feeling what? The lie or the truth?

  7. Kathy, knowing you personally means I can completely attest to all that you’ve shared here. When I see you, I can feel how full of joy you are and how committed you are to living your true self. It’s very beautiful.

  8. It’s a shame responsibility is painted as a burden to us when we are younger, when taking responsibility for who we are and all our choices is in fact one of the most joyful and empowering choices we can make for ourselves – it’s amazing to know that you are an equal and contributing part to the whole of the world.

  9. The false version of responsibility that the majority of us grow up with is such a strong consciousness. I find it can still sneak in and make me believe that I need to be doing or fixing something. What I know from my body is that is not true as it creates tension and angst. My responsibility is to have a body that is open, light and at ease, ready for the soul to work through.

  10. “I truly love being me”. I found these words stood out, as I don’t think I have pondered on how I feel about being me before or fully appreciated who I am. There is a reason why we are all the way we are, we all have divine qualities to share, so it is a wonderful thing to feel those qualities and love what it means to be me.

  11. I am currently at a Universal Medicine retreat and in this mornings presentation learnt that responsibility is actually love; and this makes sense from what you have shared ‘I made a choice to be responsible for myself first. This point marked a ‘turn-around’ in my life. Holding my behaviours in such loving understanding allowed things to change. I am still learning, but I now have tools to work with every day.’ In that loving yourself more you started to be more responsible for what you were living and letting go of behaviours that were not love.

  12. The rates of self-harm are escalating into an epidemic of depression. Thank you for writing a powerful blog on how this starts from a very young age and can lead to incredibly low periods in people’s lives. These behaviours are crippling people of all ages and it is the support that you received that is showing the world there is another way. How often do we as a society judge, comment and give our opinions on why people are living or reacting a certain way when there is a whole level of love and understanding that needs to be presented first to allow another to feel the levels of hurt that have the potential to be healed?

  13. It’s so true Cathy – responsibility is love, and it is beautiful. It comes hand in hand with the glory that we are, asking us constantly to be who we are, more of who we are and reflect that to the world. Why did we ever make it a burdensome word with the connotations of loaded up shoulders?? Because we then mistakenly learn to shun responsibility and in doing so, we shun ourselves.

    1. Exactly Katerina, when we understand responsibility to be a burden we tend to shy away from that but as you say with that we also shy away from life and avoid to take that only responsibility in life that is to being all of us wherever we go, which actually is no burden at all.

  14. We grow up in an environment that places so much pressure on us to achieve certain things. Whether it be perfectionism, a better person, a fixer, a carer etc etc. There is nothing out there besides Universal Medicine saying to people you are you well before you do or become anything. You are already perfect in your divinity and perfection isn’t something to try and achieve. Nothing is saying just breath and truly connect and everything you need will be at your fingertips because you have you. We are constantly trying to achieve, obtain, be better while all the time everything is already inside, and we only need to deeply, and consistently connect to it. Universal Medicine turns peoples lives around because we are all walking the wrong way, the world is upside down. We are the masters of knowing what to do, it’s just we have created a world through our actions and movements that tells you otherwise. Just because you think something doesn’t make it real, everything is energy first and so the wisest thing to do is to see where the energy you are using is coming from.

  15. Thank you Kathy for a most honest and touching blog. I love the depth of understanding that you have come to about what “true responsibility” is; an understanding that would benefit most of humanity. To understand the truth of responsibility has allowed me to drop any need to blame anyone else for what has gone on in my life and that how my life has unfolded is simply a result of all the choices I have ever made

  16. An amazing blog Kathy! It is incredible that you have come out of the years (from 4 onward) of full on feeling responsible for everyone else. To know that the only one you are truly responsible for is yourself is indeed a truth that Serge Behayon has shared with us and is in the Livingness of.

  17. To not blame the world for our woes but see that we alone are the creators of our life reveals to us that we have the power to change. This alone brings us a huge step forward to the responsibility we have.

  18. In fact we can only be responsible for ourselves and that is also how responsibility works. It is impossible to be responsible for someone else’s life as we have no control over their will and the choices they make. If we think we can, then we are drained as we give energy to something that is not us. The only responsibility we have is to shine our light to the best of our ability, and through that light we can show to the world what responsibility really is.

  19. In the early part of this blog, when you talk about your childhood, and as a parent myself, I can’t help but wonder what it must have been like for your parents, the kind of upbringing they had and how they must have felt being away from their children all day, the fears they must have had and the deep sorrow. I get the sense that there was a lot of fear, of wanting everyone to be safe, and how they knew that in you there was someone they could rely on, someone strong and dependable – just like them.

  20. We often see true responsibility as a burden, and think life is easier when we don’t take full responsibility allowing ourselves on occasions to take part responsibility when in truth we are either responsible or not. The more I live by true responsibility the easier life actually is, because you know what is truth and what is not truth, which leaves nothing unknown.

  21. Gosh Kathy that is so full on looking after your siblings from such a young age. You have transformed your life thanks to your commitment to saying no to doing for every-one else and coming back to taking care of you first. Well done as I know many of us struggle with this transition to putting our self first.

  22. Thank you for your touching story and unfolding understanding about responsibility. Serge Benhayon is very precise in the use of words and I deeply appreciate the opportunity to learn about the true meaning of so many words, not just through verbal explanation but also providing personal example through the way he lives. I have found that embracing the truth of such potent words as love and responsibility turns your whole life round.

  23. That is probably one the most evil beliefs around, that we are a good person if we take care of others all the time or ar least a big part of the time. The truth is by living that way we are wearing ourselves out and don’t give the other the permission to see the real us.

  24. Love what you have shared here, that with true responsibility there can be true joy. We always think that taking on more responsibility means that it is a drag, something that you are burdened with, not that it can be hugely joyful and expanding.

  25. “Knowing the truth of responsibility is the greatest gift I could ever be given.” I can see why you say this Kathy – we can be imprisoned by beliefs or ideals and knowing, or being reminded about, the truth of a word in life is truly freeing.

  26. Great to read that no matter what age we are, we can make choices which can support us to change our lives, and at the end of the day true responsibility starts with us first.

  27. I’m so blown away that at age four you had taken on such tasks. The world is full of words that have been twisted and used against us. This is a great example of how responsibility was used to become it’s opposite. Taking you away from true love which is held in true responsibility.

  28. “This constant focus on others’ needs first is what I believed true responsibility to be.” – and as you’ve discovered Kathy, it isn’t. Supporting, caring and loving others can only come if we are taking care of ourselves first.

  29. It’s interesting how skewed responsibility can become – our interpretations of it, some of which are detailed here. Understanding exactly what responsibility entails and where and how it begins has been part of my learnings with Serge Benhayon too. As with so many topics, he reimprints and restores true meaning and understanding, enabling us – if we so choose – to live a life that is true.

  30. Perfectionism – what a killer of joy and simplicity in life. It’s a terrible kind of compensation for what is fundamentally a lack of self-worth. If deep down I believe I’m not enough, well everything I do damn well ought to be perfect in order to get the recognition that I am!

  31. ‘True responsibility starts with myself first and foremost.’ Yes. I too have been used to taking care of others, having four younger brothers. I then went into caring professions, ostensibly looking after others, but not caring for myself at all. I was always ‘trying’, trying to be good enough to pass my own standards – and of course failing. Learning about energetic responsibility and loving myself first was an eye-opener for me when I first came to the Ageless Wisdom presentations. What? It wasn’t selfish to put me first? Not only that, it became clear to me it was essential. How can someone truly care for and love another if they don’t apply these same standards to themselves? No wonder there is so much burn-out.

  32. Awesome Kathy. To work through the resentment of your parents and anyone whose expectations you felt you had to live up to is pretty remarkable. Bringing that understanding to where people are at is a huge part of responsibility, because from there we realise we don’t have to take on other people’s burdens.

  33. It is a trap thinking we are doing ‘good’ taking responsibility for others, when actually we are robbing them of the opportunity to take responsibility for them selves and at the same time avoiding taking responsibility for our self.

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