Colorado Life Coach: I’m responsible for WHAT?

We’re supposed to take responsibility for our actions, right?

I get this! I support this! I know it’s hard, but true.

And sometimes, I don’t feel in control of myself.

What about trauma? What about PTSD? What if something happened to your brain because of something in your past? Are you still responsible? Yes.

(By the way, I took this picture of the back entrance of a detox facility. Isn’t it interesting that we sometimes feel we have to hide when we’re trying to get healthy?)

This is a difficult topic.

I have some triggers in my life. When they “go off,” my breathing changes. My brain gets confused. Sometimes I can’t remember the course of events that just happened. I don’t remember who said what, when. Sometimes I don’t hear the apology. My heart is pounding so hard, and my palms are sweaty, and my brain feels like it’s going to explode.

How can I be responsible when I don’t know what I’m doing and can’t think?

But I am responsible. And so are you.

3 people I respect immensely said things about this topic that stand out in my mind:

Steve Arterburn from New Life Ministry spoke about addiction this way: “If you’re not getting healthy by going to 1 meeting a week, go to 4, go everyday, go from 1 meeting straight to another until you gain sobriety.”

Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend speak frequently about the idea of internal structure vs. external structure. We are supposed to gain tools for life as we grow up. Some of us missed the lessons because our parents didn’t pass them down, or traumatic experiences disrupted our learning. What if we don’t have the tools to “become self-disciplined?” Where are we going to gain them? From ourselves? No. Our “self” doesn’t have the discipline! We need “other-discipline.”

“Self-discipline is always the fruit of ‘other-discipline.’ Some people get disciplined by other people early in life and then internalize it into their character; then they possess it themselves. Other people don’t get disciplined early in life, and they don’t ever have self-discipline until they get it from others and internalize it for themselves. It’s not rocket science; it’s the way God designed us to grow. Others discipline us, and then we can do it for ourselves. Kind of like everything else in life–we get it by receiving it from others (as it says in 1 Corinthians 4:7).”

Here’s an example of how it looks:

1. Get an accountability partner.

2. Join a group that gives specific assignments, offers correction and feedback, provides consequences for not performing.

3. Submit to the structure of the group meetings, no matter the cost.

4. Call accountability partner when tempted to slide to get support, work through fears and resistance, and heal the pain that drove the irresponsibility, etc.

Through this process, you can begin to internalize the structure and realize “self-discipline.” Hebrews 12:11 says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

What’s this have to do with my triggers? If I can’t deal with them on my own, it’s my responsibility to find someone who can help me deal with them. I’ve done that and will be doing some intensive work with 2 therapists to heal up my triggers.

And I can’t wait! It’s scary-believe me! The counselor told me they’d get past my “huge frontal cortex” (which means I’m smart, I guess) and get into my limbic system. I will feel more vulnerable than I’ve ever felt.

I know it will be scary.

And I am so excited!

I know it will be painful.

And it will be so worth it!

I’m looking forward to a life without triggers! Other people can then be free to be as crazy (or sane) as they want, and it won’t trigger me! I’ll be healthy.

What about you? Maybe you’ve done lots of work already. Are you done growing? Do things still trigger you? Are you responsible for it? Won’t you join me?

Find a group!

Find a coach!

Get some help!

Take responsibility and live your life as God prepared it, just for you!

Quote taken from How People Grow, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.

This post written by Colorado Life Coach, Carrie O’Toole.



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