Harmonize–R as in Responsibility

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(A continuing series exploring the “HARMONIZE” formula
for achieving success on your pathways through life)

red fall leaves Whenever I am able or feel called, I seek ways to transform disharmony into harmony. Life is chock-full of responsibilities to our family, relationships, job, community and country, as well as to our health and well-being. We each must find our own path where we can best apply our skills, talents and capabilities. Every responsibility has its challenges, requiring us to dance between stress and harmony, seeking balance and resolution. The truer we are to our own nature, what we care about and what’s important to us, the easier it is to fulfill our responsibilities.

Responsibility is an action word whose roots are “response” and “able.” A responsible person is reliable, dependable and trustworthy. They are people who answer the call when you need them. Living responsibly requires you to be flexible to life and the needs around you. It asks you to examine your capabilities and then to respond accordingly.

Trust can only be earned when you demonstrate you have the ability to do the job and come from a place of truthfulness and honesty. Thus your actions are not based on, “I have to,” but rather “I want to,” from a place of caring and/or compassion. If resentment contaminates your thoughts and feelings, your actions will reflect this and trust can be lost. Living true to your own nature, honoring your values, purpose and beliefs, you make better choices in determining where you want to put your energies.

Maintaining Harmony and Balance
Often responsibilities are thrust upon us when we feel we have no choice, or, they become greater than we could have imagined. Early this year I discovered that Mae, an 89 year old family friend, was declining and needed to move into senior housing. With no children to help her, I felt compelled to take on the responsibility of helping her make this transition. Little did I know that this would later turn into becoming her caregiver, helping her handle her financial affairs and ongoing healthcare issues.

Helping Mae, has required me to rearrange my work schedule and personal life around her needs and issues. I do this both because I care about her and because I know she couldn’t do this alone. I am also mindful of my ability to serve that need and make a difference. While seeking to create harmony in her life, however, I am constantly being mindful of maintaining harmony and balance in my own.

The analogy of flying in an airplane and putting the oxygen mask on oneself first, then on those less capable, is a great lesson in the dance of fulfilling our responsibilities. More and more baby boomers, often referred to as the “sandwich generation,” are finding themselves in the midst of care giving at both ends – for children and elders.

A key component to harmonizing your life pathways with responsibilities is to consciously discover ways to feel gratitude for having the opportunity to do the job, help someone achieve a result or make a difference.

Check out other posts in this series:

  • Harmonize with Accord and Agreement
  • Harmonize with Heart and Home

QUESTIONS TO PONDER

What challenges do you have in handling responsibilities?

What possible changes you could make?

What ways have you been able to harmonize your life while handling responsibilities?

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