Those of you who watched my interview yesterday on Super Soul Sunday heard me say this to Oprah about my own life — that things didn't start changing for me until I took 100% accountability for the care of my own soul. Which is to say — 100% accountability for my own life.

This doesn't mean becoming an island. One of the ways that I take responsibility for my soul is to surround myself with loving and caring people, and to reach out when I need help to the right people, the most honorable people, the most wise people. If I am the steward of this life (my own) then I must often seek assistance from those who can be of aid and comfort to me as I am trying to shape my own journey.

But ultimately, other people can only help me; they cannot save me.

My state of mind, my state of being, is entirely my own responsibility.

I spoke yesterday about the awful old question, "Who am I going to blame my life on today?" — a question which I still facetiously ask myself at times, when I find myself slipping into blame and resentment. Like: "Come on, Liz, seriously? You're still looking for somebody to pin your life on? Who is responsible for your soul? Are you seriously still putting that responsibility in somebody else's hands?"

Yes, people disappoint you. Yes, people can hurt you horribly. Yes, the world is unfair and sometimes cruel — but that has always been part of the contract. (It's not even in the small print: It's pretty much the bold print headline of the contract.) The world never pretended or promised anyone that it would not sometimes be terribly unfair and cruel (or at least that it would not sometimes be utterly incomprehensible.)

Still: Who is charge of YOU?

This is the question that drove me on my Eat Pray Love journey, and it is the question that drives me still. I ask myself this question every single day of my life, and the answer is always the same:

I am in charge of me.

What other choice is there? Sure, there are other choices, but they are all pretty terrible, and they all end in weakness and in tears.

You may have also heard me say yesterday, "No happiness without self-accontabilty."

I have never met a happy person who did not hold themselves 100% accountable for their own self.

Because that is where your dignity will be found.

When I slip on my self-accountabilty, the results are always the same: Sorrow, anger, resentment, blame, bitterness, retribution, chaos, self-pity, helplessness, conflict, shame.

So I ask myself over and over again in those messy situations: Who is in charge of YOU, Liz?

And somewhere deep inside, the best and wisest part of me always rises up and says, "I am."

Thank God.


via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall