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Choice And Accountability

Something I have been pondering pretty frequently is the choices that I make as I move through my day. Everything from the mundane to the heart-wrenching. Life is a series of choices. What I have come to realize quite deeply, is that I am in complete control of how I choose to respond, show up or hold back, in all that I do. Age brings lots of things to the surface, thankfully awareness is one of them for me. I see how fast I move through my day, and even in my own emotions, indulging in whichever feeling chooses to flare in me that day.

I’m beginning to adopt some Buddhist mantras. Their foundation is all about slowing down the mind through meditation and deepening in conscious thought. Lightbulb moment ! The more we slow down, the more clear our minds become, the more fluid our choices are, which leads to a more peaceful life.

Sounds simple, but sadly it is not. I am aware that this practice of slowing down and thinking consciously is the key, but I need help in doing so. Knowing something and living it can be opposing forces at times. What I can do is take responsibility for my actions. No blame, no victim, no free passes. I’m not suggesting to be tough on myself but holding myself accountable. We are all human and we are going to make mistakes, it’s part of the growing process, and certainly what being human is. However, a good question to ask oneself during any kind of challenging moment, is “am I taking accountability for my choice in this?” Are we truly taking responsibility for what choices we make and for our actions? I know I don’t at times, especially when I am angry or hurt. In those moments I have chosen to blame the person or situation that pressed on me VS. seeing that I contributed by enabling the situation or judging it. Our minds hold us prisoner, not other people.

Relationships are beautiful, tricky experiences, full of ebb and flow. I do think there is a science in mastering them. Accountability is at the forefront. Are we able to say sorry when we error and recognize where we are at fault in the situation? Sometimes we can’t in the moment because our emotions take over internally. These are the moments to choose to take a breath, or a day and slow down to process what is happening inside. Clarity often comes from pausing and reflecting. As a person who loves to see the good in everyone, I must practice forgiveness. I have learned over the years that this is no easy endeavor. As I continue on my path of self-reflection, I see that forgiveness can also come in the way of forgiving myself for choosing to exit or shift relationships that are unhealthy for me. I used to hold guilt around this, yet I realized that this is another example of accountability. Always striving to do so in love, clarity and kindness.

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