Do You Have an Overdeveloped Sense of Responsibility?

Jim and I have recently started watching the TV show Smallville. If you are not familiar with this show, it is a retelling of the story of the iconic superhero Superman, when he was young. The series began during his high school years and continued for 10 seasons. The Series finale was this last spring. Jim and I are watching the DVDs and have started from the beginning.

One thing that became clear very quickly is that the character of Clark Kent, Superman’s alter ego (although at this point there is no Superman) has an overdeveloped sense of responsibility. He takes everything on. Anything he has even a remote connection to, he will feel like he is responsible for creating a positive outcome. No matter what anyone else’s choice is or what part they play in the things that are happening, Clark always feels like it is all his responsibility to fix. I suppose that is a good thing in a character that can bench press a tractor. However, it handicaps his character with a lot of guilt and makes him moody and broody. Of course he is also a teenager, so that might have something to do with the moody and broody.

One of the insights that came to me the other day was how by Clark taking on all this responsibility, he negates the choices of the other characters. Since I have a tendency to take on lots responsibility for the things going on around me, this was an important realization for me. Every situation in our life is a result of the choices we and those around us have made. When two or more people meet, that meeting is the intersection of each person choices. So when I, or someone else, take on all the responsibility for something occurring, it is as good as saying “I’m sorry but all your choices are meaningless to me.” Now what impacted me the most was the realization that some of those choice are made in the deepest love and are meant to be a gift to me, or someone else. A gift I was rejecting by taking on all that responsibility and negating the choice!

I realize that responsibility has many non-supportive means out there. It is something I have talked about before. I also realize there are those who aren’t taking on responsibility for their choices. However, don’t own what is not yours. Recognize what your choices are and recognize what the other person’s choices are. When you take on more than your share of the responsibility, you hamstring yourself with guilt and stress. You can’t make someone’s choices for them and therefore you cannot guarantee any outcome or result in which someone else has a choice. This may result in an outcome you may not want, yet they too have their lessons to learn and experience to receive. Allow them the responsibility of their own choices and the gift that this is for you and for them.

 

In love and light

Celina

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