It’s Not Your Fault, But It Is Your Responsibility
By: Alysia Lyons
(3 min read)
This weekend, I went camping with my family and some friends of ours. We took our motorhome and all of our off-road vehicles to California City, a place the size of Los Angeles with a population of 13,013 people. Needless to say, it’s pretty secluded.
I love going camping with my family. I especially love going when we bring along other families. I see everyone having a lot more fun when it’s more than just the three of us. This weekend we went with my boyfriend, Larry’s friend, and his family. They brought along their RV and off-road toys as well.
I have a love/hate relationship with our motorhome, especially when I see Larry’s friend’s motor home. Theirs is more spacious, a little newer, and undeniably cleaner than ours.
When I got up Sunday morning, I was honestly ready to sell it. I felt cramped and grossed out by the mess. I was not a “happy camper.”
I don’t like waking up and instantly being in a bad mood, so I made sure to add my gratitude list to my journal writing that morning, and I started to feel better.
Later in the day, we were all getting ready to go to breakfast in the small town of Randsburg (Population 99). I noticed just about everyone was ready to go, but I hadn’t seen Larry come out of the motorhome. I see him sweeping the dirt from the floor of the motorhome out the front door.
It’s not very often I see Larry cleaning the motorhome, especially while we are camping, and I decided to see what inspired this cleaning spree. I was so impressed with what I saw when I went into the motorhome. He hadn’t just swept; he’d organized, put things away, and wiped down the counters.
“Wow,” I said, “It looks amazing in here.”
“Thanks,” he said, “Yesterday, when you said you liked their motorhome better, I thought, ‘because they actually clean it.’”
He wasn’t wrong. That was part of the reason I liked theirs better. I started thinking about why I didn’t like cleaning the motorhome, and the answer that came to me was, “I wasn’t the one that made it a mess.”
As soon as the thought came to me, I remembered one of my favorite concepts in personal development. “It’s not my fault, but it is my responsibility.”
We inherited the motorhome from Larry’s uncle, and although it had been cleaned prior to us getting it, there were quite a few things that bothered me about it, things I didn’t do, things I felt like I couldn’t fix. Those are the things that aren’t my fault, but I am responsible for what I do going forward.
If I want a clean motorhome, I have to clean it. If I want an organized motorhome, I have to organize it. These things are my responsibility.
A lot of people don’t like the word responsibility, and I believe that’s because as we were growing up, we heard an adult at some point ask, “Who is responsible for this?” And usually, the person who was responsible was the person who was going to be in trouble.
But as an adult, when we take responsibility for things, we are actually taking control of them. And I don’t know about you, but I love being in control. I love being at choice because I can choose things that make me happy.
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