Wednesday, July 17, 2013

This Is The Picture, Part Two: Own It

My sister once said to me, gravely, "I think it's time you accept responsibility for your accidents."

At the time, I thought this was a ridiculous statement. She was talking about car accidents, and though I'd been involved in an accident or two, they were documented as not my fault. She insisted, though, that I needed to own my role in them. I considered this -- how could I have avoided them? Should I not have been driving to work? Should I have left the house earlier? Later? And then mostly let it go.

But I'm thinking about it now. I'm thinking about it now because I think she had a point. I didn't cause the car accident(s) I was involved in, but they were a literal result of being in a certain place on a certain road. I may not have intended to be in an accident at that moment, but my life and my choices brought me to that space and time in which I intersected with another vehicle in a mess of broken glass and twisted steel.

I may not have intended for my life to be at the crossroads at which I now find myself, but I need  own my responsibility for it. My feet brought me here. I can be sad and scared and angry about the fact that I am struggling, and I can say that this is not what I thought would happen or what I wanted to happen, but I still have to recognize that I drove myself to this intersection at this time.

It's not about fault. This is not an actual car accident and there is no insurance company, no police to assess the damage.

It's about seeing the road and recognizing it as the one I was choosing -- right or wrong -- to follow. And just like it was natural that I would be driving to work on the days I was in my car accidents, it was natural for me to find myself on the path that brought me to this difficult moment in my life. The highs and lows are a result of being on a journey. You walk yourself to them both, so you have to embrace them both: the good and the bad. The easy and the difficult. They all belong to you.

So take responsibility for your joys. Own them. Take responsibility for your accidents, too, because they are just as valuable a part of you.

And love the road that gets you there.

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