I started volunteering with the Samaritans recently and this is where the idea of self-determination was introduced to me. In Samaritan terms is means callers remain responsible for their own lives and actions.
Now in terms of me, I found this liberating. For so many years I’ve worried about those around me and felt responsible for them in a strange way. They could do whatever they wanted, and I had to be there to support them, encourage them and listen to them. The idea of self-determination set me free.
It is up to others what they do, it has no effect on me or my life, it is their choice and I do not have to agree to it. If I’m being the nice Jessy (which most of the time I am!) I will listen but that is all. I don’t have to help them, or sort it out for them.
It’s not my responsibility!
It has been harder to put into practice but it really has been a weight of my shoulders. At the end of the day you can only live your own life and deal with the consequences of your own actions. You don’t have to take on everyone else’s problems too.
Well, that’s my interpretation of it anyway. What do you think?