Saturday, February 21, 2009


Responsibility. That's a big word. When partners talk about relationships, the issue of responsibility often comes to the forefront. Each party believes that the other is not carrying enough responsibility with regard to the areas in conflict. How do we resolve issues this complex? This first step is assessing what responsibilities are encompassed in the overall issue. Once they are clearly defined, we can then move on to deciding who is going to take responsibility in each area. To solve the conflict we must each take responsibility for our portion of the problem. We must be honest and objective with ourselves and our partner about what we are and are not currently doing with regard to our part of the responsibilities. We can then move forward with a new perspective about how a change in our behavior can positively affect the overall issue we face together. Each of us is invested in carrying forward our part of the bargain to make the synergy of the whole outweigh the problem. Being on the same side of the issue creates a team environment where both parties can work toward a mutually agreeable solution.

The word, response - ability, gives clarity to the true meaning. The ability to respond, rather than react, to any given situation denotes a level of self care that is truly attractive. When life deals us a blow we have the tools we need to take care of ourselves. We breathe, give ourselves a moment to become centered and calm, then respond to the stress. If we need more time to make a decision we can always say, "Let me think about that and I will get back to you." Very few issues are so pressing that they must have an immediate response. We give ourselves the gift of time whenever we need to. That is truly self care. When we practice self care on a daily basis we will be able to discharge our responsibilities in a healthier manner.

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