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What Are You Responsible For In A Relationship?

When I was 18 and getting my BFA in theater, Chausey Leebron was one year behind me.

When I was 34 and getting my Masters in Counseling Psychology, surprisingly, Chausey Leebron was again one year behind me. She’s an amazing spiritual psychologist and walks her talk unlike anyone I’ve ever met.

We were always in each other’s energetic sphere, laughing and smiling, loving each other from a distance…for DECADES.  

Then, she and I moved an hour from each other… She from Texas to Connecticut. Me, from Manhattan to a small town just north of New York City.

When we asked her to officiate our wedding ceremony, Chausey showed up in with abundant love and generosity. I am deeply grateful for this woman in my life.

Chausey posted this on FB one day. And I thought it was so GOOD, so on POINT (like most of the stuff Chausey posts) I just had to share it with you:

Chausey wrote in her post:

Many times when I’m working with clients, helping friends, or even in my own life, I notice the same theme tends to sprout up.

I find myself talking to several different people, teaching or learning the same valuable lesson that others seem to be dealing with as well.

So this morning, my angels guided me to write about a topic that seems to be rich in conversation this week, and that is: Responsibility!

Now, I know this might not be the sexiest topic to focus on, but from my perspective, it’s juicy, and it may just help one of you out there!

So, I’ll begin by sharing a message that I heard many times in my last year of graduate school: We would tape record our client sessions, and then play them back for our professors and classmates. After listening in, our teachers would often give the feedback, “Don’t work harder than your client!”

Now, this may sound counter-intuitive to the other message we received, which was “Love is the ultimate competency,” but actually these pieces of advice actually go hand in hand.

Let me explain: when you avoid working harder than your client, friend, or loved one, it really means you’re lovingly refusing to enable them. You are wisely getting out of the way of their learning.

Often times, well meaning people can be “over responsible” for the people in their life and prevent others from learning a valuable lesson like Responsibility, Self Love, or Empowerment.

When you take “over responsibility” for another, you could be getting in the way of this person’s lesson. This lesson just might  be part of their sacred curriculum that will help them build muscle, and gain Self Trust or Self Worth.

Many times, it’s just well meaning friends or family that don’t want to see someone they love suffer—and that’s totally understandable.

However, remember that the caterpillar’s struggle to get out of the cocoon is what helps build their strength to fly as the butterfly!

So here’s a quick list of what you are NOT responsible for:

  1. Other people’s feelings.
  2. Other people’s choices. They have Free Will and can make whatever choice they want to make! (As long as they aren’t hurting others or themselves.)
  3. Other people’s thoughts! You obviously can’t force someone into thinking positively. So, you’re certainly not responsible for elevating their mood or for healing their wounds. You can offer helpful suggestions and love, and, at the end of the day, it truly is their choice to make a change when they’re ready.
  4. You’re not responsible for other people’s opinions about you! Nope! Not that one either! Hopefully, you know in your heart who you are and understand the choices you’ve made!

Here’s a quick list of some of what you ARE responsible for:

  1. Your own feelings.
  2. Your own thoughts.
  3. Your own actions.
  4. Protecting your life force (your energy) and your gifts with loving boundaries.
  5. Listening to your own inner guidance, and honoring it.
  6. Your integrity.
  7. Your healing.
  8. Loving your Self.

Pretty easy, right? Well, sometimes it can feel like tricky territory to navigate.

So, here’s a list of some subtle clues that you may be helping someone from a place of Fear, rather than a place of Love:

  1. When you find yourself making a choice to help out of a “should.”
  2. When you find yourself feeling used after giving.
  3. When you feel the other person is trying to make you responsible for them.
  4. If you walk away from a conversation or interaction feeling drained or resentful.

These are all indicators that you may be engaged in a pattern of over responsibility and enabling.

This obviously doesn’t mean to stop being giving to others! When you listen to the quiet voice inside your heart, and it guides you to give, then by all means, GIVE!

The feeling of giving from your heart is wildly different than giving from your fear. When you give from a place of love it feels JOYFUL, heart opening, and expansive! It honors the other person, and in my opinion, there’s no better feeling on the planet!

I have found the key to this process is to listen to your own intuition, and not judge someone for where they are currently. It’s important to give everyone the dignity of their own process.

After all, we don’t have the altitude to understand their unique path for learning. They’ll get the lesson in their own Divine time. You can be a supportive friend by sending them love, giving when it feels good to you, and holding Loving Boundaries.

After all, the lesson of Responsibility is one of the sweetest gifts on the planet, because when learned, it results in the experience of FREEDOM!

So remember: Put your own oxygen mask on first! And, it’s a very loving choice to not enable someone who is learning about Responsibility.

You got this, friends! Sending you my Love, and hoping you find deeper levels of Freedom and Peace this week, too.

From Chausey’s heart to yours… And sending you all my love!

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Lynn Newman