feeling responsible – a gift and a curse

By Dina Tibbs

Earlier in the year when I was in circle with my sisters, we all randomly pulled a word. The one I pulled was responsibility and my first thought was I have a love/hate relationship with that word. I have always been “the responsible one”, in fact growing up I really was forced to be responsible; it was expected that I was responsible for myself. So as a child, I was an adult.

The gift in this is that I do not take my own or other peoples’ needs lightly. I feel a responsibility to my family, friends, clients, the planet and myself. The curse is that it becomes a control mechanism, where I take the lead instead of allowing others to be responsible for themselves and then when it becomes overwhelming I check out, I swing to the other end of the continuum and shed the responsibility like a snake sheds her skin. Until recently, there was no balance point.

This summer I went through a period of intense anxiety, and as I worked with my spiritual mentor, this soul agreement I had with responsibility came out into the light. What came to light is that I had an agreement that until I took care of all my responsibilities I could not play, I could not have fun. This was an agreement from my childhood, which served me at the time, but as an adult it no longer serves me. What I realized is as I grew, I began to “create responsibilities” out of a need to be needed, wanted, loved, to control my surroundings and try to stay on top of what will happen next. My entire healing practice was based on this agreement, and the reason for my anxiety was that this was no longer resonating with me. My inner child was screaming that she wanted to play, to not have to be so serious all the time.

Beginning to clean my house of these responsibilities can be an uncomfortable place, because in the past when I decided to say fuck it, I will not be responsible anymore I would go to the other extreme, and go down a road of self-indulgent pleasure and substance abuse. Now I am in a place of moving towards balance and understanding what is a true responsibility and what is a creation in my mind or shedding an old responsibility, such as my responsibility as a mother looked much different when my son was 3 than where he is now at 11, yet I still operate like I am mothering a 3 year old. We all have responsibilities to take care of; the key for me is taking care of them from a place of fun, joy, and playfulness. Understanding what is mine, and creating the boundaries for what is not.

What responsibilities are you carrying that are of your own creation, a coping mechanism to feel needed, wanted, loved by those that are external to you? And how can you begin to clean house and not carry the weight of the world on your shoulders? 

The Split and the veil

On the way to work about a week after the presidential election, I saw a small picture of Donald Trump on a local posting spot while driving through the small college town. I realized folks were trying to get on board with getting behind the man, what is going to be for the kingdom within the next four years. This need to accept has been the way of society for so long. We feel we need to find a way to be part of the whole, to reign ourselves into the crowd, to back our leader, and find some way to be proud of it. But, it looks to be a low and small kind of acceptance as of now.

Before the election, before the campaigns, I felt the pull to sharpen myself and become more centered in my power. I started Warrior Goddess Training two years ago which led me to find much more of myself. Before that, even as a teenager thirty years ago, I was rebellious and searched tirelessly and often painfully for greater meaning. Looking back at all my years of being on this earth, I can see how I was setting up to be encompassing my rising authenticity now.

I see the split in society that was felt but was unclear before. Just as stated in the Bible, in the end people will stand against one another even within their own family. In silence this is taking place. I believe this has happened before. As we know, cycles happen over and over throughout time. Everything that happens is for the purpose of cleaning, bringing us into the new.

I feel more seated in my essence than ever before. This seems to be a great time for me to be. With my heart softened but clear, I ride through life under my veil. This veil is my container. Inside it holds all of me. I am not in hiding. I am a meant-to-be purposeful Goddess  shining forth with open arms to anything and anyone. When I’m silent I do so from choice, no longer through fear. The anger I used to carry has fallen by the wayside. I embrace what is now. Yes, I am rising now.

In the midst of this training session, life, for the first time, I know there is nothing to hold onto. And, I am glad in it. Before there was the hope that we are all together as a people. The innocence in me believed that in the end I would be saved, that I was ultimately a precious part of them, the ones in power, and that they would save me. Now, I am grateful for the unveiling of the truth, that I save me.

Part of what had strengthened me is use of my core. Through my yoga I operate from my core for the most power. From our center comes our self trust. It increases once the veil has been lifted from it. This happens little by little, practice after practice. Day by day we become stronger, but not without challenges that cause us to doubt our power, abandon our power, give away our power, fight for our power, then finally hone in on our power, welcoming ourselves home.

I unveiled myself inside unto myself. And, am continuing to do so. I feel grounded, calm, aware, and fully alive. I feel my power and am grateful for it, and respectful of it. The veil is, now, around the outside of me, not hiding me from me anymore. I can see through it, feel through it, communicate through it, live through it. I can put it on and take it off. I am in control. As a result, I am capable of helping others, and doing my work; my art, my life here.  

May all women unveil the inside to place around the outside of our precious Selves. Let’s go forth and do our work, search, play, build, and truly live. The splits between people will one day dissipate, just as our inside veils do as we accept and love ALL of ourselves. Until then, go forth in all your glorious power!

-Leahanne Woods Smith

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