I was told to take responsibility for many things from quite a young age with no real conversation as to why this was important. I was told to clean my room, wash the dishes, do my other jobs, do my homework in the designated time, not to over-eat, eat a balanced diet… the list of expectations my parents had of me was endless.
I would rebel and take as little responsibility as I could. One of my behaviours was to sit on the toilet each night after dinner until the dishes had been done. Not sure how I got away with that for so long. I often wondered why I was such an obnoxious brat growing up.
I observed my mother overeating and eating all the wrong foods. My father did not do a thing around the house and if dinner was not ready when he got home from work he got very cranky. He left all the cooking and cleaning etc. up to my mother and us kids, who had to be screamed at to get anything done, and when that did not work the wooden spoon came out.
They smoked copious amounts of cigarettes inside the house and drank every evening. My mother started with a sherry or vermouth at 4.00pm joined by my father when he returned from work, then wine with dinner. They would chain smoke when our family piled into the Holden, four sometimes five of us in the back seat. They wondered why we would be punching each other in the back of the car and, intermittently, one of them would turn around and scream at us to take responsibility for our behaviour.
We often did not listen to them as there was no ‘role-modelling’ of what taking responsibility really looked like. Of course there was the obvious – my father ran his own business and he was very good at this; my mother was on every committee she could sign up to in the local community, and she led many of them and she was very good at this. Even as a kid I knew that this was not true responsibility. My mother loved her committees because it gave her a sense of worth and an excuse to get out of the house and my father used work to escape from our fairly dismal home life.
In my teenage years my irresponsible behaviour escalated into a whole other level – dropping out of school, taking copious amounts of drugs and alcohol, not working, living off the dole and not caring about the effect my behavior was having on any of my family and friends.
I lived this way on and off for the next 30 years until I met Serge Benhayon and heard him present on energetic responsibility, and coming from a man who was actually living what he presented, this had a huge impact on me. It was extremely healing even though very confronting at forty-five, to have to see the effect my irresponsible way of living had on myself, my health, my mental state, my children and all my family and friends. I also healed any resentment and anger I had towards my parents, as I was able to look back and understand that they were doing the best they could at the time given they were also a product of their parents, thus unable to role–model true responsibility.
Nearly fifteen years later, the way I live has changed beyond recognition from my earlier life, and my relationship with responsibility has changed immensely from one of thinking it was a ‘burden’ to one of seeing that the more true responsibility I take, the more fulfilling my life becomes.
I am constantly looking at ways to deepen this responsibility, and interestingly, whenever the next level is offered I find myself at first resistant. But I am so onto this pattern, which is to think it is “too hard” and that “I cannot do it,” that the awareness I have developed around it means I do not give in to it. Even though at times I am not sure what exactly is being asked of me, I’m prepared to give it a go whether that be a shift in the quality in which I approach life, or specifically with a job or project that asks for greater responsibility.
The embracing of what true responsibility is brings great joy into my life and I can deeply appreciate that I am now able to be a role model to others with an understanding that I did not have growing up.
By Mary-Louise Myers, Complementary Healing Practitioner, Goonellabah, NSW, Australia