Doing What’s Small but Mine

“Confront the difficult while it is still easy; accomplish the great task by a series of small acts.” Stephen Mitchell translation of Tao Te Ching

Zen and the Tao are in total agreement regarding something I consider of utmost importance: taking responsibility for things within your sphere of control (which is generally very small). The flip side is refusing to take responsibility for things one has zero influence over.

Much of the suffering I see among the people I know is from trying to take responsibility for other people’s issues or from not taking proper responsibility for the things that they can be held accountable for. To take responsibility for someone else’s responsibilities is the essence of codependence and dysfunction. To not take responsibility for one’s life is irresponsible and non-functional. Dysfunction is when a behavior attempts to accomplish something and fails. Non-function is when a person doesn’t make the effort to address a situation at all.

I went to all the trouble of getting an MBA and am not using it at the moment. I feel irresponsible, but the reality is that I am devoted at the moment to making my husband’s (probably few more) years comfortable. The past few years have threatened to make me hyper-responsible (taking responsibility for my stuff and everyone else’s, semi-dysfunctional). My feelings of responsibility have become somewhat detached from reality, as in, “No homework? When I wake up, I’ll go to class.” Old habits die hard.


About cdhoagpurple

I have an MBA, am married to a GM/UAW retiree with Huntington's Disease. I am more Buddhist than Christian. I plan on moving to Virginia when widowed. I have a friend''s parents that live down there and another friend living in Maryland. I am simplifying my life in preparation for the eventual move.Eight years ago, my husband had stage 4 cancer. I am truly "neither here nor there." My identity shifts and I am always surprised where I end up. 2015 was my hardest year ever. This is my Dark Night of the Soul. Welcome to it.

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