This rarely (read “never”) goes over well. People inconvenienced by my forgetfulness or lack of attention miss the humor. Instead, they see someone failing to own his behavior. When I come back with, “I was only joking,” it doesn’t help.
The common phrase, “possession is nine-tenths of the law” means ownership is easier to maintain if one has possession of something, or difficult to enforce if one does not. While this may be “fuzzy law,” it rings true with behavior. When we take possession of our behavior, we claim ownership of our personal integrity…of our lives.
This means accepting ourselves just as we are not only as a general concept but also when we are in midst of being who we are. Feeble attempts at blaming, excusing, or deflecting sling dripping spoons of can’t-you-see-I’m-a-victim goo at anyone tolerant enough to listen. It gains us nothing but a stickier situation.
The first step to forgiveness of others and of self is taken when we accept the reality before us. You can’t fold a towel until you pick it up, and you can’t forgive or improve a behavior until you take possession of it.
In each moment, no matter what else is going on in our lives, we have choice. We have free will. We can blame someone else for a problem we’re having, or we can take one hundred percent responsibility and love that person – love ourselves. In the end, all forgiveness is self-forgiveness. Joanie Chappel
Here’s a brief article on what helps us take responsibility for our behavior (read article).
*You didn’t laugh at this. Neither does my family.