Responsibility For Your Life

I have been in the field of mental health for over 16 years. Nine of those years I spent managing young men with an abundance of behavioral issues, ranging from post-traumatic flashbacks to violent outbursts that escalated to situations in which their safety and the safety of others was involved . I quickly came to realize that deescalation and the development of trust with these young men were essential skills to have to be able to help them. Many of them I wouldn’t have trusted with weapons of any sort, not even a water gun.

More and more in the news we hear of angry, lost and violent young men who identify with extreme views and ultimate solutions. Working with these young men and becoming acquainted with their families I learned of parental drug abuse, sexual and physical abuse and its perennial companion, neglect. The economic pressure on the family for both parents to work and the exhaustion that it causes on the adults often can lead to aberrant behavior. What worked with the young men was creating a trusting relationship, therapy, a solid and positive structure in their schedule and people who took their time to teach them service by example. As they acquired social skills, developed their education and found receptive ears to their fears and emotional turmoil, they flourished. Eventually after restitution and learning to take responsibility for their actions they found a sense of meaning in sacrifice. Since the sixties the field of psychology have been telling people to just accept themselves and their emotions. This advise is a good port of navigation, yet, to truly arrive to your destination, I believe much more is needed it.

To quote Jordan Petersen:

“The purpose of life is finding the largest burden that you can bear and bearing it”.

The young men that succeeded in recreating themselves learned to take responsibility for themselves and then they managed to find something to sacrifice for. This made them happy and gave meaning to their lives. I have come to understand that in personal life these lessons provide meaning also. I wonder how many people out there struggle with anxiety, stress and lack of meaning, male or female? Do these ideas resonate with others or do you think that I am just preaching to the choir?

In my life I know my path now. The responsible care for my family and what can I do to contribute to the society at large. Please let me know what your thoughts are on this theme.

News Reporter
I have a master degree in Psychology. I have worked in the mental health field for decades, either teaching art and creative photography to Autistic adults or in behavioral hospitals with teens. I’ve received mindfulness training from eastern teachers specializing in Tibetan, Krishna and Zen meditation. My goal is to help people that currently struggle with anxiety and depression as we delve deep into Positive Psychology for effective coping skills. Also I’d like to find others of a similar mindset for mutual learning and collaboration through this blog.

2 thoughts on “Responsibility For Your Life

  1. Well measured and meaningful writing, thank you 🙂 I gotta say, I don’t love the concept of helping others or engaging in community as sacrifice. maybe there is something about the idea that I’m not understanding. It sounds like they were sacrificing selfish endeavors and pain for community and support?
    It’s an interesting idea, sacrifice, it’s seems to trigger something uncomfortable in me every time I hear it. I wonder if we can reframe the intention behind it, which appears to be a noble one, so it doesn’t have a negative, give something up you really don’t want to give up, kinda vibe.
    It’s nice to hear insights from people who have been working in the field. Thank you, I’m looking forward to following your blog.

    1. Hi Melissa!
      Sacrifice seems like a very bad word in this day and age I know. Our society seems to overemphasize the rights of the individual more and more. What is lost in the conversation is the importance of accountability and responsibility when it comes to the young. Our social problems, violence, isolation, stress , anxiety and many other disorders start in the family. A visit to many juvenile detention centers will uncover this sense of entitlement and anger. The role of the mental health practitioner is to create trust and then lead the individual towards self- understanding and accountability. An emphasis on Sacrifice in the end is unavoidable for all of us that have families and care. In all relationships to work effectively our selfishness has to be put aside to the needs of the other. Otherwise, neglect is not an option for happiness. Finally, to quote Jordan Peterson: “You’re going to pay a price for everything you do and everything you don’t do. You don’t get to choose to not pay a price. You get to choose which poison you’re going to take. That’s it.”

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