Oh, have I been stressed lately. As I am sure most of us are in the current state of the world. It’s hard not to be honestly.
While doing the 100 millionth load of laundry one day and it causing rifts between the members of my household and whose responsibility it is, I realized that no one asked me to do their laundry. No one tasked me with that responsibility or expected it to be done by me, except for me.
I became aware that I am taking on too much responsibility, responsibility that isn’t even mine.
I have been doing responsibility checks since then, especially with things that stress me out.
When I feel stress, I ask, is it my responsibility to take this on or do this? If it is, then I can change my mindset, and take pride in me doing a good job and accomplishing things. If it isn’t, I tell myself, quoting the show Letterkenny, “Not my pig, not my farm” similar to the “Not my circus, not my monkey.” Whatever little silly or fun affirmation I can use to lighten the mood a little. Then I let the stress of the responsibility that is not mine, go.
Laundry piling up that isn’t mine, it’s not mine to take on until those terms have been negotiated.
Shoes out of place that aren’t mine, not my responsibility.
While this has been extremely difficult since I am a bit of a clean freak, I am finding with each time I do this it gets easier and my stress levels are decreasing. When something bothers me enough to take care of it, I realize that I am taking this on for me, no one else. It is a gift to me to satisfy my need for a clean space. As a side effect I have noticed that I am not resenting others for things that used to bother me before.
I have decided to take this on anytime I feel stress. Work, home, the world. I take inventory of what is my responsibility, if it’s mine I do it. If it’s not, I decide if it needs to be done for my own needs, shifting the responsibility to myself, and if it’s not something that is my responsibility or something I am willing to take on for myself, then I let it go.
It is hard. But it has been such a game changer and perspective shift for me. There are so many things that I expected from myself, that weren’t my responsibility, that I was taking on for no reason. No one else expects me to do it, so why am I doing it?
I try to bring into question most things I do in my life, and layer by layer, I am releasing myself from so much conditioning. The stress is just melting away and I feel liberated.