What if Responsible became Response-able?

I had an interesting revelation today about responsibility. I always feel that I am totally responsible: responsible for what I do, for what members of my family do, for what my clients do. After all, I want everyone to be their “best self”. Don’t you?

I carry the weight of this responsibility totally on my shoulders (ready for a massage gals?) and it weighs me down. The definition of responsible is: having an obligation to do something, or having control over or care for someone, as part of one's job or role. Although I love being part of my family, friends, clients success process, I don’t like having an obligation or feeling totally responsible for other people’s success.

Granted, I am the one who was willing to take on the obligation, but some days it is just too much for one person to shoulder. Can you relate? So here is my revelation. What if I gave the word responsible a different definition? One that would still fit my desire to help others be their best, but not at such a weighty cost to me.

What if the word responsible became response-able and took on the new meaning of “able to respond”? Yes, others could still come to me for advice and guidance, but instead of taking responsibility for their acting on my response, I simple tell them what has worked for me. I am then “able to respond” to their need but not in a way where I take on the responsibility to take care of their need.

Does this make sense? Well it was an eye opener for me! I am by nature a “fix it” kind of gal, but at the end of the day the only one I am responsible for is me – just like you are only responsible for you. So now I am all about being “able to respond” and letting the ultimate responsibility of choices and decisions  fall squarely on the responsible party - which in this context is not me or you. Here’s to letting go and getting in the flow!