Every month I pay this thing we call a mortgage. This means I own a home. I have other payments as well, like my two car payments. One of which I own and the other is a lease.
The lease is like a temporary partnership. I am happy to report my other car payment ends in about a month or two. This means the car is all mine. I own the above items (except for the lease.)
I have some clothes too. I own some tools. I have a small tractor that I keep in my shed. At the moment, the tractor is in need of repair but it is still mine, which reminds me; I have a snowblower that needs my attention too. So does my main generator. I have an older generator but it has not run for quite some time. Either way, these things are mine.
The word ownership simply means the fact of being an owner, which means I have legal right of possession or proprietorship.
I own a home. I own a car. I own my rights to be, think, choose, create and build. I own my rights to change and improve. I own my faults as well as my assets. These things are mine. However, there are things I do not own, but yet, I claim responsibility for, which I have no right to, but yet still; I find that I still claim them sometimes.
Take for example things which are beyond my control. Take people, for example. Take the hardships of others. For example, take the hardships for the people I love or that love me. Their hardships are not mine. I might feel about them. I might have an opinion. Still though, these are not mine.
These are theirs, but yet, in my need to be something to them; in my need to be wanted in return, or in my need to protect or be the caregiver (which has nothing to do with them or their hardships, by the way) or in my need to justify my role in their life or validate my existence in the relationship—I have taken ownership of hardships that do not belong to me.
There is nothing wring with wanting to help or be supportive. there is nothing wrong with this being received (or not) but the fact still remains; outside problems are outside problems.
Throughout my life, I took abuse from others and felt shame. I blamed me, but yet, the reason behind the insult or the violation against me was not and is not mine.
I laugh as I type this to you but I heard something the other night. I heard a true statement on a show that I never thought I would hear such a true statement ever. In fact, I heard this statement on a horrible reality show; in which one of the therapists explain the difference between responsibility and ownership and how the two are not the same. I agreed wholeheartedly.
I do not have to own what other people do. I do not have to own their faults or their dilemmas to make them mine or have them make sense to me.
I am not responsible for them either. I am not responsible for the wellness or the promotion of anyone else but me.
Life is very social. We are all interpersonal, whether privately or in the workplace; we all have to coexist. We all interact. Even if we try to keep interactions to a minimum, we still interact in one form or another.
I do not have to own anything that does not belong to me. Moreover, I am also not responsible for this either.
I am not responsible for the way people feel. I am only responsible for me and my efforts. I am responsible for my output and not the outcome. I say this because outcomes are often beyond our control.
I cannot control others or their interpretation. I cannot change people’s beliefs or wants and needs. These things are beyond me.
Nevertheless, I choose to be mindful of this because there are times when I catch me taking ownership of this and the outcomes that are beyond my control. Therefore I lose to this. I lose because I am trying to change things that are otherwise unchangeable.
I have been saying a prayer for nearly 30 years now. We know this as the Serenity Prayer, which is, “God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
There is a difference between the things I can and cannot change same as there is a difference between what I do and do not own. I do not own the property of anyone else. I do not own their rights or their ability to be happy, sad, or otherwise. I have a personal responsibility to the way I treat people. This is something I own, however, I do not own anyone else, how they feel, act, or believe, and respond.
I do not own the lies that have been told to me. I do not own the times when I have been manipulated or “Tricked,” and “Coerced,” and then found myself at the wrong side of a bargain. I own the lessons I learned from this. I own my feelings and my thoughts that follow but I do not own the dishonesty. Those are not mine.
someone I knew that was struggling with a change in their life. They were
giving in to a habit, and yet, still calling me for advice on a daily basis to
kick the very same habit.
Eventually, the truth came out about their usage after an arrest. The person apologized. They admitted to their lies, to which I explained, “It’s okay.”
Besides, I already knew. Yet, in the case of the lie; I was not the one being lies to. This person lied to themselves. But to what avail?
Did this help them? Did this solve something in their case? Or did this just prolong their struggle with more anguish and more dishonesty?
I can’t own things like this. This lie belonged to someone else. This was about him. Not me. I cannot own other people. I cannot own their problems or their opinions. As it is I have enough on my plate and only so much energy to take on the day.
Empowerment begins with ownership. To own; to give power to, to authorize, and who better to authorize in my life than me to authorize myself?
This is the definition of empowerment. Empowerment is equally a challenge put to one’s self; and should I choose to accept this challenge; I have to own this challenge.
I have to claim it.
I have to make it mine; therefore, the responsibility to keep it is equally mine, which means I have to be efficient at allowing others to be sufficient for themselves and responsible for their own actions.
Today is a new day. The only way to make it mine is to claim it.
Other than that, I am powerless over everything else.