I have many factors that have contributed to responsibility leading to an experience of chaos for me.
I am the oldest of seven. I come from a military family (Army).
My father was a warrant officer – worked his way up the ranks and held a multitude of job descriptions in the Army.
I was born in the 1950s.
Middle class family with a work hard, dream big, be practical, philosophy.
I am female.
Now let’s add in the characteristics of being gifted – high standards, driven, perfectionistic, integrity, proponent of justice and humanity, and questioning authority.
All those factors lead to being practical, responsible, getting things done, making things happen, commitment, doing the ‘right’ thing, being the best you can be, and taking care of things.
The chaos comes in with being inquisitive, wanting to play, wanting to try new things, go on adventures, be silly, and do because you can – not because it needs being done, doing without rhyme or reason. The child, within, wants to be a child not all grown up. And remember the high standards – doing the best you can and throw in the imposter syndrome with self-sabotage.
Over the years what has helped with the chaos is having children or working with children. You then have permission to do all kinds of things that is not seen as appropriate for mature adults. Another little strategy is when presenting it is acceptable to put on a performance, entertain. Also, I found in the past by being the hostess of parties, social events, gives permission and leeway for more childlike behaviors.
I am currently involved in Julia Cameron’s Artist Way process. I am finding the limitations, barriers, layers that I have surrounded my creativity and curiosity. It has made a difference on how I have defined myself. It also has made a difference on how I respond to others requests and responses to me and possible opportunities.
This creates a torn feeling inside – knowing I can and the challenge presented would be pleasant; however, wanting to play, strike out in a different direction, and asking is this truly what I desire. Do the responsible thing – move forward in your career through the channels, accept the responsibility and the pay increase, be secure OR trust your abilities, your dreams, your intuition, your curiosity. The chaos involves making the responsible decision more or less by default, or making a conscious choice with greater risk to develop the wonder like joyful experience.
No the two are not totally exclusive. There is the experience of flow in doing a responsible action. There is the limitation in pursuing creativity. Blending and balancing responsibility and childlike wonder is a skill and an opportunity for actualization (probably through positive disintegration).
The question that presents itself is how to be a grown up without growing up? How to be responsible and play? How to integrate and balance the full spectrum of needs of a highly intelligent, able, sensitive, driven, curious, practical, carefree …. Individual?
What is your experience with responsibility and chaos? How do you blend the various needs? What are your contributing factors?
More of my Journey is presented at howtoinlife.com.