Partial Agency

So. Previously I wrote about our responsibility in our lives and how difficult it is to accept that responsibility. We make choices based on our best guesses, the information we can gather, and our own ideals. We are responsible for making the most careful decisions we can. We are agents in charge of our lives.

At the same time, there is much that happens that is outside of our control. Circumstances change; outside events interfere; we can only ever achieve an incomplete understanding of the bases of our choices. In other words, we cannot be completely responsible for outcomes. We can be responsible for how we deal with our lives, for how we make our choices, and for how much effort we put into any direction. But, ultimately, we cannot insure we will have the outcomes we want.

Part of maturing as a person is being able to continue to put our greatest effort in the directions that are most important to us, even while we realize everything may not come out the way we want it to. We learn to recognize what we can control, what parts of our lives are regulated by our own agency, and what we have to accept as outside our control.

Fundamentally, we have to be consonant with what we believe to be the best choices in the moment while recognizing we cannot be sure of the outcomes of our efforts. This balance between responsibility and acceptance is one of the ongoing refinements we make as we become grown-ups in the world.

About norasblog

I am a psychotherapist with a private practice in downtown Chicago.
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