"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it."
--George Bernard Shaw
A member of the Inner Bonding website asked the following question:
During my Inner Bonding process today, I uncovered a feeling of reluctance to commit to being there for my inner child. I felt like I didn't want the responsibility, like it would limit me and tie me down. Part of me was saying "I want to be free." Where do I go with this now?
This question, as well as the above quote, indicates a huge false belief about taking responsibility for oneself.
In my experience, taking responsibility for myself is what creates my freedom rather than limits it.
- When I take responsibility for my own sense of worth, I'm free from the burden of trying to get others' approval.
- When I take responsibility for my own feelings of pain and joy, I'm free from feeling like a victim.
- When I take responsibility for my own financial safety, I create true financial freedom, rather than being dependent upon another to tell me what I can or can't do financially.
- When I take responsibility for my own health, I'm free of dependency on doctors and medication for my wellbeing.
- When I take responsibility for filling myself with love, then I'm free from the neediness and emptiness that come from self-abandonment.
- When I take responsibility for trusting my feelings and my Guidance, then I'm free to follow my dreams and passions. I'm free to do what brings me joy rather than having to look to others for approval to do what I want.
Perhaps the problem is in the word "responsibility." This word has become associated with "burden" and "blame". In the Encarta World English Dictionary, there are a number of definitions of "responsibility". One of them is "the blame for something that has happened," but the one that resonates with me is "authority to make decisions independently."
Isn't this freedom? If you refuse to take responsibility for yourself, aren't you essentially giving up the authority to make independent decisions?
What's free about needing others to make you feel okay about yourself? What's free about not having excellent health and physical wellbeing? What's free about having to ask someone if you can buy a pair of jeans? What's free about needing another's love to feel full inside? What's free about blaming others for your misery?
In the question asked by the Inner Bonding member, it was her wounded self who believes that responsibility "would limit me and tie me down." But it's not the job of her wounded self to take this responsibility. Our wounded self is a child or adolescent who would feel tied down by all this responsibility. When we decide to learn to show up as a loving Adult, connected with our spiritual Guidance, then taking responsibility becomes a sacred privilege, rather than a burden.
If you had an actual child, would you feel more burdened and tied down if, every time the child needed to be fed or held or changed, you had to run around the neighborhood trying to find someone to do it, or if you just did it yourself? When you take responsibility for yourself, you discover that you have more freedom, not less - the freedom to take care of yourself in the moment, rather than the burden of trying to get someone else to do it for you.
Taking loving care of yourself with your Guidance as your partner is not only freedom, but is a joy indeed!