The Buck Starts and Stops Here – Taking Responsibility

The Buck Starts and Stops Here – Taking Responsibility

The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm. -Swedish proverb

Asking for help is not one of my stronger character traits.  Call it stubborn.  Call it independent.  Whatever it is, I’ve got it in spades… usually.  Early in my life, I came to the conclusion that the only person I could depend on was me.  Everyone else had their own agenda, terms and conditions, fine print, or had no intentions whatsoever of holding up their end of the bargain.  And as much as I believed in God (and trust me, my belief in God is a key reason I managed to escape my circumstances mostly emotionally intact), I couldn’t see Him, couldn’t hear Him, and found that most of the time I acted and then gave Him status updates just so He felt He was in the loop.  (In my 30s, I began to learn that asking God’s wisdom and direction PRIOR to acting saved me a lot of head and heart ache later.)

The truth is that while I wanted to believe I was an island, I still looked to others for approval and validation.  We all need support from other people.  Love, encouragement, words of advice, and true friendship helped me get through the important stages of my life.  Now that I have good people in my corner, cheering me on and keeping me accountable, I feel like taking on any challenge. (Ok, maybe not always my initial reaction to every challenge, but I usually come around.  =)  )

As important as help is from others may be, though, it all had to start with me.  Those early childhood lessons had taught me that if I was waiting for someone else to solve my problems, or wondering when someone “was going to do something about that,” then I might – probably… certainly – would be waiting a long time – unless I looked to myself first (technically, that should read second… see earlier comment about seeking God’s wisdom prior to just taking action on my own).

Taking responsibility for my own situation and thinking (works better for me to actually write it all down) of what concrete steps I could take right then to help it was not only a way for me to overcome the situation, but it also helped me to not panic and make even more bad choices.  After all, if I was going to need help, then it was only fair that the person with the most at stake (me) be willing to make the most effort.

Lesson:  When someone is pulling you out of a hole and has grasped your hand, you still must take the first step to climb out, or you’re just going to be hanging there…


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