You are responsible for your emotional, spiritual, and mental health as well as your economic livelihood.
Not the government.
Not your parents (if you’re an adult).
Not your church, synagogue, mosque, or religious community.
Not your friends.
Not even your spouse (though that person is certainly deeply influential in your life).
You can’t outsource personal responsibility.
You must EMBRACE personal responsibility.
And if you struggle to embrace personal responsibility and/or find yourself incapable of adequately addressing your emotional, spiritual, and mental health on your own, then you are responsible for seeking out and receiving the help that you need.
Let me quickly say that full grace and understanding should be extended to those who are mentally (or perhaps even physical) incapable of providing for themselves or their loved ones. I have a special needs sister. She needs lots of help and care. I have nothing but love, compassion, grace, and understanding for those who are truly unable to help themselves.
But it’s so frustrating and heartbreaking to see people who can help themselves but yet allow themselves to be stuck in a cycle of defeat, discouragement, and despair.
To see people who have surrendered to addictions and/or who have chosen to wallow in self-pity and failure.
There’s a difference between…
“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”
“I’ve fallen and I won’t get up.”
Yes, I know and understand different people have different challenges and that all of us (to varying degrees) have been hurt by others (in some cases, deeply).
I get it. I do.
But here’s a tough dose of truth and reality…
If you’re in a pit, it doesn’t ultimately matter whether you slipped and fell in that pit on your own or if someone pushed you.
YOU’RE STILL IN THE PIT!
What are you going to DO about that?
THAT is the most important question!
As Will Smith has said (speaking of those who hurt us):
“Fault and responsibility do not go together, it sucks. When something is somebody’s fault, we want them to suffer, we want them punished, we want them to pay, we want it to be their responsibility to fix it, but that’s not how it works.”
Yes, life can be hard and people can be unfair, but as Ben Franklin once said:
“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”
Put down the excuses, the blame, and the bitterness.
Deal with the hand you’ve been given. Make the best of it.
In the words of Brian Tracy:
“It doesn’t matter where you are coming from. All that matters is where you are going.”
I’m not writing this to talk down to anyone or get on any kind of high horse. I have my struggles too. This isn’t about me. Or anyone else.
This is about YOU.
You have your race to run.
Other people have theirs.
Don’t waste time and energy nit-picking or pointing fingers at how other people are running (or not running) their race.
What are YOU doing?
Are you running your race better today than you were a year ago?
Five years ago?
Ten years ago?
Take responsibility for your life and do what you need to do to learn from the past and forge a better future for yourself.
This is the best thing you can do for yourself and those who care about you.