Responsibility For Ourselves - January 9

We have been doing the wrong things for the right reasons.
—CODEPENDENT NO MORE by Melody Beattie


Caretaking: the act of taking responsibility for other people while neglecting responsibility for ourselves. When we instinctively feel responsible for the feelings, thoughts, choices, problems, comfort, and destiny of others, we are caretakers. We may believe, at an unconscious level, that others are responsible for our happiness, just as we're responsible for theirs.

It's a worthy goal to be a considerate, loving, nurturing person. But caretaking is neglecting us to the point of feeling victimized. Caretaking involves caring for others in ways that hamper them in learning to take responsibility for themselves.

Caretaking doesn't work. It hurts other people; it hurts us. People get angry. They feel hurt, used, and victimized. So do we.

The kindest and most generous behavior we can choose is taking responsibility for ourselves - for what we think, feel, want, and need. The most beneficial act we can perform is to be true to ourselves, and let others take responsibility for themselves.

Today, I will pay attention to my actual responsibilities to myself. I will let others do the same. If I am in doubt about what my actual responsibilities are, I will take an inventory.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.
zeeva70 zeeva70
41-45, F
2 Responses Jan 9, 2013

YES!!! Another really awesome post!! Owning self accountability and responsibility are the best possible gifts we can give to others and ourself!! Encouraging them to do the same is awesome too.... I totally love reading stories that offer such great messages..... Thanks!! :)

My nature is to care for others. It's a hard concept for me to follow for I tend to put myself last when it comes to care giving. Thank you for more words of wisdom. Maybe I will think twice when I realize I'm putting myself last.