Before you can jump out of the airplane, before you can fly solo in an airplane, before you can go on the whitewater rafting trip, before you can make a bungee jump, you have to sign a waiver.
The waiver is a document that says that you realize the dangers in what you’re about to do, that you and you alone have made the decision to participate in the activity, and that you and you alone are responsible for the outcome.
You sign away your right to sue, whine, complain—to do anything except risk your life for a new experience.
You sign the waiver to protect others from being liable in case of an accident. I think waivers are a good reminder that ultimately no one is responsible for my life but me. There is no one to blame, no one to sue, no one to ask for a refund. I make my own decisions and I live with the results of those choices each day.
So do you.
It’s your life. Sign a waiver saying that you take responsibility for it. Set yourself and others free.
God, help me understand the inherent powers I have. Help me take responsibility for my choices, and guide me about what decisions are best for me.
Activity: Read the following waiver carefully. Fill in the blanks, and be aware of what you’re signing. It is your life, after all. Take responsibility for what you do.
I understand that during the course of my life I will be required to make many decisions, such as where I want to live, whom I want to live with, where I work, how much fun I have, and how I spend my money and time, including how much time I spend waiting for things to get better and people to change, and whom I choose to love.
I understand that many events that occur will be out of my hands and that there are inherent dangers and risks in all decisions I make. Life and people have no obligation whatsoever to live up to my expectations; I have no obligation to live up to the expectations of anybody else. Life is a high-risk sport, and I may become injured along the way.
I agree that all the decisions I make are mine and mine alone, including how I choose to handle the events that are beyond my control. I hereby forfeit my right to recourse as a victim, including my rights to blame, complain, and whine or hold someone else responsible for the path I choose to take. I am responsible for my participation—or lack of it—in life. And I take complete responsibility for the outcomes and consequences of all decisions I make, understanding that ultimately it is my choice whether I become happy, joyous, and free or stay miserable and trapped.
Although people may voluntarily nurture and love me, I and I alone am responsible for taking care of and loving myself.
From the desk of Melody Beattie
Originally posted January 6, 2015
Note: As much as Melody would love to respond to all comments, this sometimes isn't feasible with her busy schedule. Please feel free to leave a comment but do so knowing she will only be able to respond when she has some time away from writing. She does receive your comments and deeply cares about what you have to say so please do leave a comment if you are compelled to do so.
CAUTION: This is a public website and any comments made are visible to the public. To preserve your privacy, I highly recommend you post as an anonymous name. You can update your DISQUS settings by following these instructions.