The Robes of Responsibility


Image by Marco Buonvino via Flickr

Have you recently had a major change in your life?  A divorce?  A death?  A child leaving home?  Retirement?  The loss of one of your familiar responsibilities?  Major changes such as these can alter who you are and the responsibilities you have.  Even if you have not had a major change, you are most certainly carrying around more than one identity.

So many of us get tied up in our responsibilities that we take our identities from them.  We are always the mother or wife or daughter or nurturing neighbor or committee chairman or working mom or single mom or soccer mom and so on.  And yes, that applies to you men reading this, too.  Men have just as many responsibilities and identities as women.

I was divorced after 38 years of marriage.  My children were grown and gone and I suddenly did not know who I was supposed to be.  It took about a year for the robes of responsibility to begin to come off.  It was very difficult and took many hours of counseling and soul searching.  I knew I was in there but I couldn’t find me and then I wasn’t even sure I wanted to know the real me.

And while I have shed many different robes, often one feels the need to drape itself around me as if to say “wait – don’t you need me?”  It is an ongoing process and just when I think I have made it, I find another robe that must be shed.  I’m getting close to finding the real ME – but one of these robes seems to often hold me back.  Today, though, I am much  lighter of robes and responsibilities to others than I was at the time of that divorce.  I am much more sure of the ME that I am rather than the other identities that I had.

This quote helped me and perhaps it will help you, too.  I am sorry I cannot contribute it to the author, as I do not know who that might be.

” .  .  .  an opportunity to begin to take off the robes of responsibility that have clothed me for so long, to see if I can become lighter and more visible without so many cloaks and garments.  I would like to shed all the layers that no longer fit, that no longer serve me, that prevent me from bringing my naked self to the light.”

Our lives are consumed by our different identities.  Stripping off the robes only brings us closer to who we really are – and then we can be so much more than all those identities we cling to.

What do you think?  Are you ready?  You might be surprised at the real YOU hiding under all those robes of responsibility.

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