Question: What does it mean to be emotionally responsible? I don’t choose to react the way that I do, it just happens. How can I be responsible for my “knee-jerk” reactions and change the way I communicate when, at times, I don’t feel like I have a lot control over my emotions?
Thank you for asking, I know for certain that A LOT of people struggle with this. Actually, we all do at some point or another in our lives, it just depends on the severity of the situation, but don’t worry, you’re not different. This is a human response…..an unconscious human response.
See…..whether we like it or not, we are responsible for ALL of our actions, thoughts, and reactions. That shitty thing you said to your sister when she pushed your buttons on purpose? You own that. The distance between you and your former BFF that has been created ever since she took that amazing job that made you jealous? You own that. The way you over-reacted when your kid kept whining about wanting to watch the same episode of Paw Patrol for the third time in a row? You own that too.
You did that, no one else made you behave in a way that you didn’t condone. No one but YOU. Does this sound like blame? Well, it’s not. It’s called being emotionally responsible.
We are responsible for getting our to-do lists done, taking out the trash, and meeting those deadlines, right? I mean, that proposal isn’t going to write itself, is it? No, it’s not, and the same goes with your emotional integrity. Your inner landscape is like a beautiful garden. Some are more like tidy English gardens, some like a field of wildflowers, but the fact remains that if you stop pruning your garden and allow the weeds to take over, you will no longer have a garden. You have what used to be a garden that is now an overgrown pile of weeds with some critters nesting in random spots, eating away everything that was healthy, that was beautiful.
Tending to your emotional health is tending to your garden. Removing the weeds in your mind, the thoughts of defensiveness and paranoia, the assumptions that only serve your twisted version of the truth…these are your weeds. AND…IT IS ALL OKAY! Those weeds are there to point you in the direction of where you need the most healing, the spots that, when given attention to, will give you the biggest “AHA” moments!
Tending to your weeds can save your marriage, it can even save your life. So, the GOOD NEWS is, your knee-jerk reactions are red flags that are saying “Hey! Look over here! Examine this, there are really good lessons to learn right here!”
Once you examine your “weeds”, thank them for letting you know where you needed some insight, then learn how to RESPOND, instead of react.
Responding is responsible. Yeah, read that again.
Being responsible for your thoughts and behaviors mean you are responsible for your environments and outcomes. If that’s not empowering, I don’t know what is. ☺