I remember being 4 and "watching" the babies, my little brothers while Mom drove Dad's lunch to him at school less than a quarter of a mile away. At least I think she drove, maybe she walked. I remember that she told me that I was responsible. When she arrived back home a few minutes later she told me how proud she was of me. I was her big girl. I was responsible. Today that would be child abuse, I suppose, but in the 1950s it wasn't so far away from normal.
It is obvious from my memory of that incident that I took on the characteristic of "The Responsible One" from that day forward. I became the bossy big sister. I was a "good girl." While there is nothing wrong with that, in a way there was, there is. The blessing of the label "responsible" is also a curse. I have done things I didn't want to do and suffered for things that I was unable to accomplish because of the mirror I hold up to myself to be responsible. And although I am loathe to admit it, I suppose I feel somewhere within myself that if I am not responsible, then I can not be loved. My worthiness for love is dependent upon my responsibility.
People have used that against me. I have been painted into boxes of responsibility and I have come to resent the assumption that I am responsible. I am at a juncture where I am trying to find the truth in who I am. I have concluded that I am not the care-free thinker who can throw all my concerns to the wind. I don't want to be that person and I don't like that kind of person very much. (Mainly because I end up making up the slack for them, I think.)
But, what I am standing and trying to take it in is this--I am beloved of God irrespective of whether I am the responsible one, or just do my best. Doing my best and forgetting the rest is okay. I must allow others to take on the responsibilities that they have in their lives. It is not kindness to take on the responsibilities of others. They need to learn to fend for themselves.
I am learning, trying to learn how to be an authentic daughter of God. How to walk in the world without fear and judgment and self-criticism, that is my goal.