taking responsibility for your own actions seems like one of the hardest things for people to do, right next to saying you are sorry for any of your own actions! just recently i had to humble myself and apologize for the actions and remarks that i made. at first i didn’t want to and tried (in my head) to make an excuse and to point the finger at another trying to place the wrong doing on some one else. so what’s the story, right? well here it is. my husband came home one evening to find that our eldest son (12) made a big mess taking out the trash. he hadn’t tied the bag before tossing it into (upside down no less) into an already full trash bin. garbage everywhere and more to fall out when the bin was moved to the road. needless to say my husband was upset and hollered at our eldest to come outside with him. when they both came in my son was mad and said that he would no longer take trash out. well i REACTED and when my husband came in i yelled. i was upset. needless to say that he got upset at me too. we went to bed mad. ugh! i was mad the next day and i actually kept thinking about it. thinking about how he handle the situation with our son, how are son reacted and my REACTION to what happened. well after muttering to myself all day and drawing cards to gain a some sort of new view i made a realization. i had NO IDEA what happened outside between my husband and my son. no idea what happened and i assumed the worst and REACTED. so when my husband came home i had to gather up my courage and strength (because taking responsibility for my actions and apologizing is some scary shit sometimes!) to tell him i was wrong (and why i was wrong) and to say i am sorry. I’m sorry, that’s it, no excuses, no explanations. i was in the wrong and i owned it. it wasn’t easy, it was quite hard but it was the right thing for me to do.
there are a couple of things that i learned here. taking personal responsibility for my bad behavior is hard! own it is harder and saying sorry for it is the hardest. but it is also awesome. after taking responsibility for my poor behavior (for my reaction) i was able to look back (without my REACTION, at this point) and learn from the mistakes that i made and hopefully make a better decision in the future. i believe my husband appreciate it too. by taking responsibility and saying sorry i showed him how much he means to me and that i love and trust him to do the right things (even if he handles things differently than i would).
there is another thing i would like to mention here, it’s about REACTION. the knee jerk response to situations around you. in my experience i have found that reaction comes from a place of habit or from a rut. you are not thinking about it, it just comes out. for me it usually comes out in the form of anger (that anger of mine can be quick to jump). but it is then that i am not acting mindfully, i am allowing my assumptions control how i engage the situation and most of the time in hindsight it is not the way i would choose to act (and i have to apologize for overstepping boundaries).
i’m no saint but i have been working hard lately to become more mindful in my life, to act from a place of love. so when i do feel the anger bubbling up (because i am never going to be rid of anger or any bad feelings) i really dive into why. where is it coming from and do i really want my anger to cause my REACTION, or i can take a moment (or ten, i don’t have to engage immediately) to gather myself and act mindfully. it isn’t easy, some times i have to learn the lesson in hindsight (like the one above) but everyday i get a little closer to getting away from reaction and more into mindful action.