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Taking Responsibility

By Donnie McKinney  c 2005


"I'm sick of all of this, and I don't see the point in trying, because nothing ever changes." "I don't care anymore about anything." "What's wrong with me?" "I just want to be happy, but it seems to impossible." "Life is pointless." "Why can't I find any real answers" "Maybe I'm not meant to be happy."  

These are quotes from emails teens have sent me sharing their feelings of despair. All are used here with their permission. All these feelings have three things in common. First, they came from the influence of other people and events. Second, they are all fictitious and erroneous. Finally, these teens can't distinguish their totally false feelings from reality.

In-depth discussions of all the factors relating to these fictitious and erroneous thoughts and feelings are available online in "The Real Me" study on this web site. If any of these feelings are part of your life, please go to that section as soon as you finish this article and begin to discover who you "really" are and change your life for the better.

"Events" happen, the first being the home into which we are born. It doesn't matter much what happens in our lives, however. It is only our reactions and interpretations that matter. We "perceive" things, and we file those "perceptions" away with emotions attached to them. Then, those emotions and feelings start to falsely define who we are. Do any of these feelings expressed by other teens relate to you?

"My parents don't care." "My dad has a very hard time showing any emotion." "I am 20 years old, and I only remember him telling me he loves me only twice my entire life." "I love him so much, and I feel so unwanted by him."

Every depressed teenager I've worked with has had one thing in common - the inability of one or both parents to adequately express love. Without the love and acceptance we crave, our young minds "perceive" that we are unworthy and unlovable. That's far from reality. That thought, however, seems to warp its way around in the subconscious mind through a thought process that becomes, "If my own parent(s) can't love me, then nobody can." Over a period of time self-esteem is destroyed. By the age of 14-16 years old, in my experience, the teen is confused and/or depressed and sometimes suicidal. That's sad.


The insidious ways that destroyed self-worth affects one's life are hard to imagine. The results are even more dramatic when one of the "events" in a child's life is being physically, mentally or sexually abused. Some of the added feelings piled on for future reference include shame, guilt and a lack of trust. These are all false emotions. They still control your life, because you "think" they're real. They're not real. They're simply "learned" reactions.


"Do I really deserve to be forgiven after all I have done?" "I seem to say and do really stupid stuff, and I do it A LOT." "There is a lot of stuff I have never told anyone." "This is hard to talk about." "Jesus, that was hard to get out. I've even made myself sick talking about it." "It's eliminating any sense of self-strength I have."


These are not stupid teenagers. Every one is intelligent and talented. They simply have fictitious images of themselves. They feel guilty for things they didn't do. They're ashamed of things they had nothing to do with it. They can't see that they have unlimited potential.


You must acknowledge the fact that your reaction to any "event" in your life is YOUR response. It comes from you, from who you are.  Sometimes this response comes from an unconscious part of you, but it nonetheless comes from you. It does not come from some force outside of you, regardless of the appearance.

You can start to change your life today by beginning to simply recognize fictitious and erroneous thoughts and emotions. Think consciously about those sub-conscious and autonomous thoughts that pop into your head. You can start taking responsibility for your own life right now by learning new responses. Start using the following responses when unhealthy thoughts pop into your head.

Taking Responsibility For Your Own Thoughts

If you have anger problems, ask yourself,
"Why do I act this way? Who in my life taught me to react with anger? Why am I letting "them" control me?"


If you can't trust anyone, ask yourself, "What has this person done to make me think I can't trust him? Is my thinking based on any facts at all? Is it logical for me to never trust anyone because of how one person acted?"


If you feel unlovable, ask yourself, "Am I really unlovable? Have I let someone else's inability to express love make me feel this way about myself? Have I just been lying to myself because of what someone else said or did?"


When you're afraid to try something, ask yourself, "What's going to happen if I try this and fail? Am I going to die? Isn't everyone around me just an imperfect and insecure human being like I am? Why do I feel like I have to act perfect around them?"


If you're afraid to tell someone you love them, ask yourself, "Why am I having a hard time saying those simple words? Am I afraid they won't love me back? Am I acting just like the people around me who can't express love?"


If you have shame and guilt from being molested or abused, ask yourself, "Why do I feel guilty about what some sick person did? Why have I let their actions make me feel bad? I can either keep on letting it ruin my life, or I can recognize it for what it was and move on with my life."


If life feels hopeless, ask yourself, "Where am I getting this feeling? I have all sorts of talents and abilities. I'm a normal, intelligent person. I can do anything I want to do. All those other people around me aren't better than I am, or smarter than I am."

Until you understand that you are creating your own response to everything that happens to you, you are helpless, a victim of your conditioning. Other people are controlling your life.


Your have ONLY two options right this minute. You can either, continue to whine, depress yourself, make yourself angry, let your grades slide, give up on life or convince yourself that things will never change, or you can take responsibility for your own life. Those are the only two options.


Only when you take responsibility is there a possibility of doing something about your situation, or creating something different. The main source, then, of both personal power and peace of mind is taking all responsibility for what happens. You are not to blame. You are responsible for how you react. It's your choice.

All you need to know to stop being confused and/or depressed in life is contained in the series of articles in the following study. If you're a teenager whose life is being run on autopilot by fictitious and erroneous subconscious thought patterns, you can change your life by learning the principles it teaches.

The Real Me

Ask Donnie

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