Merriam Webster’s Dictionary: ‘Responsibility - the quality or state of being accountable.’
The word ’responsibility,’ like the word ‘homework,’ does not elicit strong positive responses in most people due to its common and distorted use. ‘Responsibility’ has unfortunately become an unappetizing call to a duty or obligation one must perform whether one wants to or not. It has also become a term used to elicit blame or quilt … not something to get all warm and fuzzy about.
“Johnny, time to come in and do your homework!”
“Now, Mary you’re responsible for your little brother. Be sure you take him
with you and your friends to the mall.”
“I didn’t do it! Billy is responsible!”
“Donald Trump is responsible for all my pain and unhappiness!”
… and on, and on, and on.
‘Responsibility’ has come to mean anything but accountability. Just say the word and do nothing; that’s enough. Whenever a celebrity or politician stands before the lights and cameras and declares, “I take full responsibility for my actions!” rest assured the problem will end there and nothing will be done to correct it. When Attorney General, Janet Reno declared, “I take full responsibility,” after the tragedy in Waco, Texas that saw 80 people killed by federal agents on April 19, 1993, nothing was ever done to address what happened. No steps were ever put into place to prevent it from happening again. Responsibility stopped with a simple declaration.
However, ‘responsibility,’ in its true meaning, is a powerful response to a call for action. We hear the call - we respond, we take responsibility. ‘Respond’ is what an adult does when the needs and opportunities of life calls one to action. In responding we consciously initiate growth and change.
‘Taking responsibility’ is the first condition necessary for any healing to occur. Yes, it’s true you can cure a health issue without taking responsibility, but you’ll never heal the issue until you do. Without healing the issue will, and must, surface again in a similar form or another. ‘Responsibility’ means ‘respond’; take action; address what needs to be addressed; initiate the change.’ It’s a powerfully magical force that opens one to unlimited opportunities for unparalleled healing and growth.
Whatever we have shoved in our unconscious, good or bad, in this lifetime or in others, will in time surface and become conscious to us. All health issues, life issues, emotional issues, etc. have their source in the unconscious. But these issues do not become conscious without warning. When they start to surface they begin as ‘whispers,’ and when not responded to by taking responsibility will, in time, become ‘shouts.’ Respond to the whispers from your unconscious and you will no longer have to contend with the shouts. Cancer, for example, is a pretty loud shout.
The purpose of our life is to learn how to enjoy, and how to consciously create that life. The goal of everyone’s life is to become more of his/her Truer Self; anything other than that is, in my opinion, a distraction. ‘Responsibility’ is a gift we possess that, when used, can allow us to become more of who we are and to grow to spontaneously live our life’s purpose
Our Relationship to Responsibility: The Three Levels
There are essentially three levels of clients a therapist will face in the willingness, or lack thereof, to taking responsibility for the healing process:
(1) The Get-by’s: No matter what healer this client goes to, or what healing procedure he/she chooses, this client will not take the responsibility required for healing to happen. The ‘Get-by’s’ are life’s victims, or so they erroneously believe, and it’s up to others to take responsibility for them … after all, they are the ones who are suffering don’t you see. To them, healing is about getting attention. This group does not, except for some exceptions, want the pain and suffering in their lives. This is true. However, what they want more then healing the pain and suffering is the attention that the pain and suffering provides them; the attention they so desperately seek. For them, attention equates to love.
“I’m suffering! If you love me, you’ll help me! You’re the healer, it’s your responsibility to help me!” they’ll cry out, tearfully
“But what about you helping yourself?” you ask.
“Oh, no I can’t! I can’t! I’m suffering! “I’m too much in pain! I need you to do it!” their soulful reply.
Their life is a ‘get by’ one day at a time affair. Theirs is a life with no future; only the sad existence of simply getting by. As a healer there is not much you can do for them. If you were to make their lives more comfortable it would not fit in with their template of pain and suffering as the means to gain attention, and therefore love. They’ll eventually sabotage the effort. The ‘Get-byes’ are the smallest of the three groups; but the clear majority the country’s wealth, and the healers focus and energy, is on them. They are the attention getters.
(2) The Move On’s: This client will take some degree of responsibility. They will, for the most part, cooperate with their therapist’s suggestions and treatment options. They’ll take the pills, attend the sessions, undergo the operation, and do all that is required to ‘move on’ with their lives. But don’t dare ask them to go to their dark and hidden places where the true healing is required. That’s a line they will not cross. To the ‘Move-On’s,’ healing is fixing the problem only. To them, pain and suffering is a temporary setback. “Fix the problem so I can ‘move on’ with my life.” Sure, they can cure the cancer, or whatever problem they’re experiencing, but this problem is only an out-picturing of an inner unconscious template needing attention. Unless healed, it will emerge again; in the same or a completely different form … in this lifetime or another. These dark and hidden places hold a very deep level of pain that must, for healing to happen, be felt completely. And although the ‘Move On’s’ can feel deep and frequent emotions, they will not allow themselves to experience the deeper of these emotions to the full extent required for releasing them. What emotions they feel are safe emotions for them. It’s one thing to be emotional; it’s another to plunge into the emotion to discover and retrieve the power hidden in the depth. The pain, the rage, the dread, etc. will never be released until the power they hold is brought back and made a part of you. This is the good news. What the ‘Move On’s’ do not let in is that as they invade their own emotional privacy they become free of the pain, the hurt, the rage they’ve stored so deeply. There is tremendous power in the hidden emotions. Power that can be used to create magnificent futures of healing, magic, and dreams manifested. This power can be used to catapult one into the heights of unimagined freedom. The ‘Move-On’s’ are the largest of the three groups.
(3) The Move Beyond’s: This group will take responsibility. Their choice is no longer to get by or move on. They’re here to move beyond. They’re not here to patch up or repair their current vehicle; they’re here to discover a whole new mode of transportation. Unlike the ‘Move On’s’ they’ll invade their hidden and forbidden dark places and discover the incredible power lost there, and they’ll bring it back to integrate it within themselves; and they will succeed for the whole universe is there to help. However, it is important to note that the ‘Move Beyond’s’ will put up the most fight and offer the most resistance during this process. After all, they are going into the unknown of themselves and are willing to risk all in doing so. They will be the most frightened; but again, they will succeed. It’s ironic that the attention so desperately sought by the ‘Get-By’s,’ and the safety so rigidly needed by the ‘Move On’s,’ are available to this group in unlimited supply. Fear is the limiter of the first two groups; responsibility is the liberator of the third. All are loved, supported, and helped; but it is only the third group that chooses to take the responsibility to be willing and to be allowing in the receiving of it. They are moving beyond their old templates and current set and discovering the incredible majesty of their future. And what a magical and marvelous journey it will be. Because our world is in the midst of monumental change, this group is the fastest growing group. The times require it. The ‘Move Beyond’s’ will require a different type of healer to help them on their journey; for not all healers can help them. The healer must be a ‘Move Beyond’ as well.
Ending the Cycle of Cause and Effect
To awaken the magic of responsibility, and in so doing reclaim the authorship of your reality, the following steps can be incredibly powerful.
Cause and effect is not how things or events become reality. Resonance is how everything comes into existence. Whenever we get caught in the cycle of cause and effect we are, in fact, in resonance with it. It feels like we’re out of control because we’ve given our control over to it. Example: A careless driver hits your car. Your natural reaction is to blame the driver and the event for your discomfort. It’s true, the driver hit your car and initiated the negative event, and it’s ok to get angry at him and upset over what happened; to do otherwise would put yourself in denial. The real source of the discomfort is not in the driver or the accident, they are just the ‘button-pushers,’ the real source of the upheaval is in you. Get angry, be upset - but step back when you are in a place to do so and check in with yourself. You’ll find, if you are willing to exercise responsibility, a tremendous opportunity for deep healing here. A ‘shout’ from your unconscious is needing your attention. It took the shakeup of the accident to bring it to you. Step back from what you think is the cause (the accident) and address what needs to be addressed; the issue within. Listen and attend to the ‘shout’: your anger, fear, pain, etc. It’s from a place very deep within; not from the accident. Your outer illusion always reflects your inner reality. Don’t be in resonance with the false story; instead, be in resonance with the inner issue needing healing and choose to lift it elegantly.
(1) Whenever your outer experience is in chaos or turmoil, or when you feel “ticked off,’ or fearful, or in any way upset, make the choice to see this person, circumstance, or event you believe is causing it differently. Remember, it’s OK to feel the emotion(s) that comes up, but it not a good idea to buy into what you think the outward story is. Separate from what you think is the cause of your discomfort by making the choice to do so. Make a choice to step back and pause. This will break the cause and effect cycle.
(2) At a time and place that’s conducive for your inner work, check in with yourself. Don’t wait too long, however, as the issue up to be healed can recede back into the unconscious. Ask that what needs to be addressed come to the surface, now. Be quiet. Be still. Close your eyes.
Allow yourself to feel the emotions that will, if you’re not pushing them back down, surface. Deeply feel the rage, or the hurt, or the fear, or any of the emotion(s) that surface. Own those emotions by feeling them. Don’t give them over to blame, self-pity, or martyr. The more honestly you feel these emotions the more liberating you’ll feel.
(3) Release these emotions by forgiving yourself and choosing to let them go. Give your Higher Self the negative emotions so that he/she can transform the negative resonance into a positive resonance of power. Your Higher Self will return the resonance to you at some point transformed and healed.
(4) Now, engage your reality differently. Be willing to be changed, but more importantly, allow yourself to be changed. Make a choice to challenge the old story and be willing to be new. Start exercising you power of choice. Be different. Act different. Challenge the stories you tell yourself that you’re not the author of all you experience.
Do these steps each time to separate yourself from the false story and the potential cycle of cause and effect. In time you will, more and more, be in resonance with the future you … the Truer You. More and more your life will have a synchronous fluidity, and the old ways your unconscious gets your attention will be less needed. This is what living the wholeness of life really means.