It Wasn't Me

"Who left the cereal out?"

It wasn't me.

"Did you leave your shoes under the table?"

.... I was going to get them later

"Why didn't anyone feed the dog?"

I did it last time!

"How did you fail an open book test?"

It wasn't my fault!

Does any of this sound familiar? I'm not trying to pick on my kids or your's because I could have just as easily asked, why no one paid the electric bill, or why she decided to skip mowing the lawn because it "might rain", or why he didn't put the grocery cart away because someone else would get it. It all comes down to taking responsibility and sometimes the easiest way, or what we think is the easiest way to deal with things is to blame someone else. I'm here to give you the cold, hard truth today. It is definitely your fault and your responsibility. Moms and Dads, we work hard (or we should be working hard) to make sure that our kids fess up and take responsibility for what they say and do but, if we are being honest, this all starts with us.

Before I get going and for the sake of full disclosure, I tend to fall a little left of center on the political sliding scale. I firmly believe in regulations, in helping the poor, in public education, and in saving the trees, oceans, elephants, and planet. I believe that social programs are vital to our country's success and that they are not only necessary but beneficial in growing a well educated and highly functioning society: I also believe that we live in a world full of entitled folks and over-sensitive babies. Why am I telling you this?

* Because receiving charity and being entitled are not the same thing.

* Because needing compassion doesn't meant that you don't need grit.

* Entitlement programs (and I hate that label) create survival, gratitude and allow grace. The other "entitlement" throws the responsibility out the door and into someone else's back yard.

* Needing someone who can have your back and listen to you is a huge blessing, but so is having someone who will call you out on your excuses and push you to take brave leaps.

* Being entitled blames others for what you don't have. Accepting an "entitlement" gift comes from a point of humility and the entitlement that we have as abundant givers to care for others.

Can you be entitled and poor, sure, but don't confuse the two. Can you be sensitive and tough, you bet you can and it's the best combination!

Taking responsibility for ourselves offers the gift of accomplishment.

Let's take a minute to appreciate what being responsible looks like so we know why it's important and how it all works. First thing first, and let me make sure we are all understanding this, YOU ARE ONLY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOURSELF and maybe your kids if you're in the childrearing stage. Once they go to school, you are no longer responsible for their choices. Understood? Responsibility creates an amazing experience that adds grit, color, and usually some pretty fantastic dinner party stories to our lives.

When we take the time to help a neighbor because we are able, to fess up when we mess up, or to work our asses off to become the best car insurance agent in the Tri-State area all by the sweat of our own brow, we know that we accomplished or offered something big that only we can claim. Does the mean no one offered us any help along the way? Absolutely not! It does mean that we graciously accepted help, pushed through the rough and scary parts that were completely uncomfortable toward our goal. The accomplished finish is ours only way to enjoy and that feeling of success that is magnified by the hard work and responsibility we took.

I used to write a blog called, "Thoughts of An Oxymoron" back in the day where I could air my own frustrations with my hot and cold thinking. It was all about the confusion swirling around in my head about things like I just mentioned. How could I possibly believe that entitlement programs and entitlement weren't necessarily related. How could someone be pro-choice and also against abortion? How could someone clearly write the label "JUMBO SHRIMP" when we just know those two things are in complete contrast?Do ya feel me? I wrestled with my own beliefs on the daily when all I really had to do was take responsibility for what I BELIEVE. In hindsight, I think I was so hung up on explaining myself and feeling quirky for not having a good answer that I was trying to make everyone believe me. I didn't want to upset anyone's apple cart and really wanted to be understood. Here's the thing...

Once we are cool with our own quirky beliefs, we don't need anyone else's opinion unless we ask for it. We are Free!

I used to be the worst at this. I'm not kidding; I could hardly choose a shirt color without asking if it looked okay and if someone told me to get green instead of blue, I might have just bought the green just to be "right". Yes, I'm serious. I am a recovering people pleaser. That's not to say that I don't want to make anyone happy anymore because I really do love making people happy. I'm a "fixer" and one of the most frustrating parts of my life is wanting to help and fix everyone when it's simply impossible. I want to be Santa without toys. I want to bring joy and happiness and wholeness to everyone but somehow that morphs into needing people's opinions when I don't actually "need" people's opinions. If this sounds like you, join me in letting that shiznit go. I'm embracing my quirky talk, my curvy spine, my tiny boobs and my semi-poor taste in music. I'm introverted, don't like the attention on myself, but I LOVE to do public speaking. I love my crazy curls and my snarky whit - even when I say things out of turn. I'm a hot mess and it's all good! It's me!