Me and responsibility have a strained relationship.
Ever since I could remember I was deemed the "responsible one" in my family. I wore that title. Expressed mostly in expectations as opposed to in words.
I remember a few years ago my dad told me he has always looked at me as the responsible one out of all the kids and held me to that standard, still held me to that and would still hold me to that standard.
I remember wanting to walk out of the room, walk out the front door, get into my car and just drive. I did not want to go back to my place. I wanted to flee.
Flee the returning responsibility I felt as a child. Flee the weight of the responsibility I felt as a teenager. Flee the weight of the responsibility I felt as a young adult. Flee the very weight of the word responsible.
Even now, as life has continued and time has passed since that day, I find myself still wanting to flee responsibility. The weight of it claws at me and in some ways leads me to worry. Leads to fear. Leads to doubt. When I see that I am incapable of meeting the expectations of family or of friends, I spiral into a headspace of worry, stress and doubt. I worry about how I will get it done. I stress about not having all the necessary tools to complete it. I doubt my ability to get it done. After spending all of my time and energy, THEN I consult the Lord. Asking and expecting a miracle.
Not only does this happen as the expectations of others are made known to me, it also happens as I expect things of myself. Before I ask for help, I try to get it done, whatever it may be. I am the reliable one, I am the responsible one, so I must be capable of getting things done, right? As situations present challenges and one thing after the other seems to fall through, I eventually find myself asking the Lord to perform a miracle, or as I often say it "Lord will you help me" knowing my expectation is not for help but for a miracle. For the burden to be lifted and removed magically.
How messed up is that? To expect and to believe that I, a created thing, has the power and ability to do all things for other created things and myself? How prideful is that? To take the title of "being responsible" and try making it a personified thing? How did I get here? When did I decide this was okay? How do I move forward and deconstruct the idea of what it means to be responsible? How do I become free from the personified act of responsibility and learn to just be?
I believe the first step is to acknowledge there was/is probably no harm meant from my family. Yes, maybe the actions taken and the words spoken were not the best way but I cannot assume intentional harm was being done by them. The second step would be forgiveness. Forgiving the weight felt from my family (even unintentional placement of weight) and to forgive myself for internalizing it and for the pride that came along with it. The third step I believe I could take is asking the Lord to forgive me and to change my perspective. Lastly, prayer. Every time an expectation is communicated, I should pray and ask if it is something I should accept, if yes, then ask for His help and guidance. If no, I should pray for the strength to leave it and to communicate that I will not accept that expectation.
I will leave us with a prayer,
Lord, I come to you before the worry, before the stress and before the doubt. Asking that you would help me to shake off the idea I have had of responsibility for so long. Would you remove the weight that comes and lays on my shoulders when I know I have something to do, or when I have been asked to do something. Help me Lord. Would you renew my perspective of responsibility, that I would not shrink and run from what is being asked of me from others or from you?