Take Accountability and Change Your Life

When thinking about what to write in this latest post, I came up with the thought that many of us are stuck in our lives not knowing how to move forward and build momentum. On one of my previous posts, we covered the topic of paying attention to the lessons that life has for us so we stop from continuing on vicious cycles in our lives. As a connecting point to that, I think we need to mention that we also need to take accountability for our actions as well as the things that happen to us. Most often, we can identify that the root cause to many of the negative situations in our lives are as a result of our reaction to something else or as a reaction to a negative thought we had in our minds. It is very easy to allow our perception of something take control of our mind and lead us down a rollercoaster of fueled emotion which translates to explosive actions. Sound familiar? Have you ever reacted in a way that escalated an issue to a senseless point? Also, have you ever created that story in your mind that lead to you to a series of events that could have been avoided? That’s your ego talking. Our ego tends to need reassurance and validation. It tends to need to be right all the time. It tends to need to feel as though we did everything right and often victimizes us leaving us with the need to defend ourselves. This will definitely hold us back. Let go of the ego and acknowledge that we are responsible for the things that occur in our lives. But in order to address this, we need to understand what created this. We need to do the inner work that will heal this part of ourselves so we can be free of our egos.

By now you have rolled your eyes and thought that I am here to make this sound so easy but I speak from experience. Both positive and negative decisions in my lives have impacted my path. See I came from an abusive and neglectful upbringing in a bad neighborhood and in borderline poverty. I was teased my entire childhood for being overweight and not just by the kids at school who added the fact that I did not have cool clothes or dressed funny (my mom made my clothes) but my dad would be such a gentleman and tell me that I was a pig and no man would ever want me. Just precious!!!! My mom on the other hand was not as cruel but was not supportive. Then again she had to work all the time because lets face it, dad was too busy cheating or smoking or drowning in his cloud of depression and addiction to script drugs to get a real job. But in the end, when I went to her for reassurance and asked what my own daughter has asked me so many time, am I pretty, she would say “no, you’re a different kind of pretty.” I stopped listening at “No.” With all that trauma, naturally I became a people pleaser in search for that acceptance that I never got as a child. The positive side effect was that I also became an over achiever. The negative effect was that I developed an overwhelming fear of failure. See, my dad did not stop and the insults and occasion yet frequent unexpected beating, he also would criticize my efforts at school. Despite that I was a straight A student, it was never good enough. “If you were so good, you would have gotten an A+ instead of just an A” or “If this award was really a big deal, you would have gotten bigger trophy.” What a guy….. fun fact… my brothers followed his behavior.

Fast forward to my 20’s. My dad left my mom and my brothers moved out to follow their own lives. Leaving me at 18 with no job, no income coming into the house, a sick mother and living on food stamps and renting half of our house to friends just to pay the essentials. By the time I turned 21, I was able to move my mom and I out of the neighborhood I grew up in and got a 1 bedroom apartment for us. The following year I got us a 2 bedroom. I had a career in retail management got into the bad relationships with the wrong people one of which did give me two beautiful kids and we are fortunately in a good place now but still a mountain of challenges. When I look back, I realize that every single decision that I made up until recently was to please someone else or to attach and secure myself to whomever I thought could give me a sense of value. I was miserable and would blame my mother for her neglectful behavior and hurtful words. I would wallow in the sadness over my father’s abuse. I would fester in the resentment of my brothers’ cruelty. But when I look at it today, it was my fault for allowing all of that to hold on to me for so long. It was my fault for continuing to believe that I was not good enough. It was my fault for not taking inventory of my attributes and accomplishments which ultimately took me down a path of misery in the sense that my actions were not what made me happy. Did I turn out to have a successful career? Yep, sure did. Did I have a beautiful family? Yes, my kids are gorgeous and all the way amazing! But due to my fear of failure and attachment issues I held on and made excuses in a 15 year marriage which only delayed the inevitable . I jumped on a fast moving career train which ultimately took me down a 25 year career that while it has provided me with a lot, has not filled my soul. Who is to blame for that? ME.

Point of this story is that it was not until could accept responsibility for identifying what my triggers were and what emotions I was holding on to due to my past emotional trauma that I was able to really discover that the decisions in my life, my reactions to situations, the impact on my relationships, the way I had behaved in situations came from my own ego. We usually think of the word EGO as referring to someone’s conceited mindset or sense of superiority. Quite the contrary. Your ego is that part of your mind where you have to constantly struggle to defend negative feelings which are triggered by other events. The ego needs to always be right. The ego is where we store feelings which we need to feel validated. The ego is where we store the emotions which make us the most uncomfortable. The ego is where we also give birth to judgement and resentment. The ego stores the victim mentality. The ego lives in scarcity. The ego complicates things and is in competition with the world. Truth is I am not in competition with anyone nor do I live in scarcity. I don’t need to feel validated all the time and although this is a work in progress for me, I no longer linger on the words that my father and other male figures in my life have said to me through my formative years. I have learned to help others not for my own satisfaction but to serve. We are all creatures in a constant state of progress. We are always looking for answers except for some it is in the form of wisdom and others it is in the form of validation. Which one are you?

2 Replies to “Take Accountability and Change Your Life”

  1. Dear Heart – I was just a little younger than you when I came to the realization that I had to take control of my own life/destiny – in 1992, at 41 years old I was suddenly a widow with a 16 year old son and 20 year old daughter already showing signs of PTSD from their bi-polar father. I had already, for 10 years, been the adult of the family – the breadwinner and source of some semblance of emotional stability. We learn to take control of our lives and destiny, and how to stop letting everyone else take the wheel. We cannot always choose the music of our lives, but we can certainly control how we dance to it. Keep going, mama …. you got this!


    1. Thank you so much for sharing! I will keep your words with me forever. “We cannot always choose the music of our lives, but we can certainly control how we dance to it”, beautiful.


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