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December 1, 2005

I Am Responsible

Many of you know, some of you don't; I am currently living separately from Isabelle and Callum. It was not my preference at the time.

The whole experience is a really good thing for me. It is turning out to be an amazing thing. I am learning that I am ultimately responsible for my happiness, no matter what is going on in my life situation.

I have a tendency to avoid my feelings. There are certain feelings that I learned were not safe to have: anger, fear, desire and sadness. I also learned that it's not okay to want things, to get things, to be fulfilled and to be happy. I learned so many concepts that are lies. I learned it from society and from my family.

I learned from example that when you're feeling certain things, you turn your back on them. I learned from adults modelling this for me all the time. I saw them do it and I copied them, which is what kids do best. But the feelings don't go away, they're who I really am, so they live in me and they live through me.

I act out my feelings, I hurt people and I destroy things in my life. My feelings live outside of me and I see myself in everyone else. I project all my feelings into other people. I think that you're angry when I'm angry. I think that you don't like me when I don't like me. I loose all my power. I think that I have no control over the only thing that I have any real control over; my own self.

But when I know who I am, I don't want to control myself, I just want to know myself. And in that is all I ever wanted. I'm done with blaming you all for my unhappiness. I just want to know what I want, so that I can feel peace.

So anyway, back at the ranch: I live in an empty house, working from home. I'm often on my own and I often start to feel lonely. I want to do anything to stop it. I feel like calling someone, or I'm obsessing about what other people should do, or I'm eating chocolate. I'll do anything to get away from who I am.

But I'm in the most blessed situation because I can't get out. I can't go home. I can't persuade or prove or control. I just have to accept what is happening. And in doing that, I find the most beautiful thing. I find that I have myself. And I find that I am the best friend I ever had. And all this time, I was trying to get away from myself.

All this time, I've been making others responsible for my happiness. I made my wife, my parents, my employer, my kids, and my body responsible. But I am responsible, they're not responsible. I am the only one who can truly accept myself, love myself, be with myself, forgive myself, trust myself, appreciate myself and admire myself. How could I be wanting all you to do things I couldn't do myself.

You all are not responsible for my happiness. I want you to know that; I am responsible for how I feel. I especially want Izzy to know that. There's nothing you can do or not do, say or not say, that makes you responsible for how I feel and for what I choose to do. I don't hold you accountable.

I'm grateful to all my teachers, no matter what they taught me. The ones who taught me to be dysfunctional didn't know what they were doing. They gave me this great gift of being able to go through this amazing process.

My keyboard is wet with tears. Thanks for listening. In twelve step programs, everyone else in the room responds "thanks for sharing", so you can do that, if you like.

Related article: I Am Not Responsible

"Thanks for sharing Duncan. Your thoughts seem very familiar. I'm sure glad to have company on the 'healing journey'." — Eric

"Thanks for sharing. It was very insightful and a pleasure to read." — Matthew

"Definitely thanks for sharing Duncan." — Barry

"This is an amazing process you're going through." — Mary

"Your thoughts really rang true to me, and although they are sentiments that I have embraced previously, reminding myself of them — or in this case being reminded — is very important. It is easy to slip back into projecting everything, for me; while it has become increasingly a habit and choice not to do so, it does not always come naturally. I often find it easier to blame than I do to look inside myself and find resolve. People say that the hardest thing to do is usually the right thing and I agree with that totally; we all know how easy it is to point the finger! I'm glad that you have drawn positives from your experience and have shared your thoughts, just wanted to say that I can totally identify with, and relate to your words — and wise words they are." — Talia

"It sounds like you are going through a lot right now, a kind of gestalt time, which is both exhilarating and perhaps slightly scary. At least I can say that it would be for myself. It's very difficult to remember that other people aren't responsible for our happiness — so much easier to blame them. I fall prey to that a lot myself. It's really, really hard. It kind of sucks, too — wouldn't it be easier if somebody else were responsible?!" — Shoshanna


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