Dear Ones —

I once met a single mother who told me (when I asked if she had anybody helping her to raise her child), "I have lots of people who will help me look after Oliver. But I'm the only person who can raise him."

I think it's a bit like that, too, with coming into your own power as an individual. When I look back at my life's journey, I can see dozens of people who have helped me along the way — but ultimately, I was the only one who could raise myself. And that didn't happen until I decided to take complete accountability for my own life.

I've been thinking a lot lately about this notion of self-accountablity. It is becoming increasingly evident to me how vital self-accountabilty is for a meaningful and happy existence. In fact, I don't know a single happy person who is not completely self-accountable.

But it's a tricky metric, because self-accountabily can sometimes be confused with self-blame. And I don't know any happy people who practice dreadful self-blame. Because self-accountabilty does not mean saying, "I fucked up, and I'm the worst person who ever lived." Nope, self-accountabilty means saying, "Well, that didn't go the way I expected it to, or wanted it to. But now I will put in the effort to learn from that experience, and to grow." And if that means reaching out for help from others, by all means, reach out for help. (Other people cannot raise you, remember, but they can indeed help you at times.) Then take that help, and use it to raise yourself up — to shape your own soul.

That part — the shaping of your soul — nobody can do for you. That's entirely your job…and I would argue that it's your only job.

This is how you learn to use your wings.

Blessings, and onward,

via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall