What is full responsibility?
Blame is a dangerous game, it is contagious, a virus that spreads and creates distortions in your thinking. You can slip into a thought avalanche of labelling and “I should”s, the temptation is to blame whatever problems you have on someone else or your life circumstances, and we all have something that we are suffering from, it is after all the signal that life is giving you something that you would benefit from giving your attention to and using that as a focus for your growth as a being of consciousness.
If you ignore what life is telling you or start to explain all the reasons why you can not possibly grow in that area, life will agree with you and you will cut off the first sprouts of growth which suffering gives you. It is hard in the moment to recognise suffering as the teacher that it is, when it points out the cause of what is making you suffer, it is so easy to blame anyone but yourself. There can even be a grain of truth in what you think is the cause, or even a whole sack full of undeniable causes of your current life situation. Though if you blame and tell yourself all the reasonable reasons why you are stuck and can not change, that is exactly what life will give you, your current status quo and life circumstances.
However does it serve you in this moment to give the past that much control over your life in this current moment? I recognise how harsh this can seem to someone who has suffered at the hands of others, how uncaring it sounds when something is not their fault and I would never want someone for even a second to think that is what I mean. This article is meant as a gift of freedom, not as a further source of blame, so please take this as goal, something to be worked towards and grown into, not a standard that can never be lived up to.
Full responsibility for my life is one of the most liberating feeling that I have experienced, it frees you from the past and gives you a future that is completely in your hands. The idea that I can not change my future would be so sad, even when there is legitimate reasons why it would be hard to change, I would not want to give the reasons energy or permission to restrict me in my ability to act in the current moment.
And I hate to be the one to tell you, but if you do not take full responsibility for your life, no one else is going to or even if someone did want to, there is no way they would be able to, it is a physical impossibility, it is hard enough to take full responsibility for your own life, let alone anyone else's. No one else can solve your problem, other people can help, work with you and teach you, but the ultimate responsibility is yours. You have to take responsibility for your actions and reactions, you can not blame someone else for not loving you, you have to own your feelings, you have to chose to wish them the gift of being loved and loving even if you are not the one to give it to them, you have to take responsibility for how you are spending your time on, what effect you are having on people, what you chose to learn, how you grow, what you chose to do.
The good news is that people love helping people who take responsibility for their own lives, the difference between I need you to solve all my problems whilst I make no effort and I want to change can you help me, is huge. The first is a shifting of the responsibility for the problem on to someone else and the other is what teachers live for, a student who wishes to learn. That is what full responsibility gives you, the attitude that everything is in your control and that change is possible. When you are able to view the whole of your life as a lesson in who you are, when suffering is a teacher, maybe not your favourite teacher but the one you remember learning the most from. You are able to shift from suffering to being someone who is stronger for your experiences, who has a character born from an understanding of pain and a knowledge that you can survive until you thrive again.
This is what makes full responsibility such a gift, it speeds up our progress and growth as a being of consciousness, like the bush that grows back stronger after being cut back. When our illusions are shattered, we can regrow ourselves into a more truthful and aware person, who has a more solid foundation underneath us. As if there is one thing which is unavoidable in the long run, it is that life involves suffering, suffering which is not fair, our fault or even deserved, time ensures that we suffer, you only have to live for long enough.
However full responsibility means that even when we do suffer, we get to take control over our reactions to it, we get to chose whether we suffer for a moment or we prolong it for as long as possible. Even pain is something that we chose to suffer from or observe, meditation has proven to be more effective than painkiller, and when you take that kind of choice into your area of responsibility, you are changing what your reaction to your life circumstances are. Which as we are the sum of our actions, we actually get to change who we fundamentally are as people, who we are, and that is the biggest responsibility that is under our control, but only if we chose to take that power and that is the reward for taking full responsibility for our lives.