We live in a world which believes we are responsible for everything.
We are the captains of our ships, the masters of our destinies & sometimes even the ships & destinies of a few others as well.
Along 礼品之路, The Way of the Gift, I am learning that this is a burden too heavy to carry.
We each are responsible, make no mistake, but we aren’t responsible for everything and everyone.
Our responsibility is limited.
And this moment.
If, off course, you cannot see our Origin, it is understandable that you would be consumed by a desperate need to take control and manage and be responsible for everything you can see or touch or imagine.
After all, none of us want to free fall recklessly into a deep dark abyss, extradited to chance and luck.
There is no safety in that.
And so we attempt to control the moment and the past and the future and ourselves and our partners and our children and their emotions and responses and the outcomes, taking responsibility for what happens and how it happens and when it happens and how people react and respond and experience, and if they are happy or depressed, or satisfied and content, or dissapointed or angry or flustered or uncomfortable, hoping that somehow, if we take control and manage well, we’ll be able to ensure a ‘good’ outcome.
Maybe you remember what I wrote a while ago about The Gift of Not Leaving a Mark?
“We’re not here to leave a mark. Monuments, legacies, marks … that’s where we always go wrong. We’re here to revel in the world, to soak in the awesomeness of it, to enjoy the ride. The world’s maximum perfect as it is, beauty from horizon to horizon. Any mark any of us try to leave – hell, it’s only graffiti. Nothing can improve on the world we’ve been given. Any mark anyone leaves, is no better than vandalism”. (Dean Koontz – Fear Nothing)
As we try to take responsibility, for what we aren’t responsible for, we vandalise.
But more than that, we tire ourselves, exhausting all our energy, debilitating our ability to live or be happy and we lose control of the one thing we are responsible for, our ‘self’.
I cannot take responsibility for another’s love.
Or for the people who surrounds them.
I cannot take responsibility for another’s understanding.
Or their situation.
I cannot take responsibility for another’s happiness.
Or the way they choose to live or respond or be.
I can only take responsibility for my self.
And authentically be.
In all honesty.
But to burden myself with the outcomes of other people’s lives, even the ones who are very close to me, is to burden myself with something which was never entrusted to me.
It is futile.
As a husband, I am responsible to love and care for my Zuko.
She has her own responsibility.
As a Father, I am responsible to love and care for my children.
They have their own responsibility.
And for me, to want to take away their responsibilities, is to steal from them the opportunity to be everything they were created to be and make them poorer.
Which is never love.
For love always brings freedom.
And love is patient.
And it recognises that as much as our Origin is my Origin, Who intimately shares life with me, (s)He is also their Origin, sharing life intimately with them, allowing our Origin to be Who They are, without my well-intended meddling.
The Gift of Limited Responsibility, though, does not just relate to our relationships and the responses and choices of the people around us, it relates to our life and the outcomes of all our efforts.
And sometimes we fail.
And sometimes we succeed.
Sometimes it works.
Sometimes it doesn’t.
That has only something to do with me and my effort.
I am responsible to do what my hands find to do.
To do it with all my heart and passion.
Our Origin is responsible for what comes of it.
It is They Who let the flowers bloom and the tree bear fruit.
It is (s)He Who gives the rain and holds it back.
For all of us.
And so, no one can claim to be a self-made man or a great success.
And no one needs to waddle in failure.
For even though the farmer diligently plants the seed in the right season, it is not the farmer who makes the seed germinate or grow or bring forth a harvest.
It is not the farmer who calls the clouds or commands the sun.
It isn’t chance either.
It is our Origin from Whom we come, Who has not and does not and will not forsake the creation of Their hands.
Who lovingly pulls it forward into at-one-ment.
Breathing life and bringing gain through loss and loss again, creating ever expanding space for our becoming.
I am so relieved.
My life lighter.
Truly freed from the need to worry.
As I know and understand, see, our Origin alive and well.
Perfectly taking responsibility for that which is Theirs, setting me free and enabling me, to take responsibility for that which has been entrusted to me.
Everything actus Dei, as we live and work and love and are.
Our lives a little happier, as our being becomes a little lighter.