585: My Process with Responsibility

Responsibility is a word I've had a long relationship with. I remember being quite young and reading the Berenstain Bear books and responsibility was one of the words I came across, one of biggest words I had read at that stage, and when I read it on my first go... I was surprised and so proud of myself. The definition and understanding of that word were clear within me - I had no struggles to read that word. So I've always in a way held a special place for that word within me.

Give or take 20 years later and I came across it again in a living, applicable way. The very first point when watching my first few Desteni Production videos was the message of responsibility. I understood a responsibility that I had not only to myself but to those around me and life as a whole. I could see this world was a mess, and no one knew wtf was going on, and the solutions people were living with positive thinking and "making the most" of this life was not practical... it did not address the WHY and the HOW things were in the state they were in this world. It didn't face the atrocities that people live in every day, it was like no one really gave a fu*k about what was going on, everyone was blissfully ignorant to what was going on around them.

So for me - I could understand straight away the responsibility we as individuals have to clean up this mess we are in. We are here, we exist together, we influence each other, we are accepting and allowing the state of the world and so clearly... I, as an individual within the whole, have a responsibility.

But it started out small, the living application of response.ability... learning what it means to take responsibility for myself within my own mind. Understanding the inner workings of me that were dictating and driving my decisions and actions. It was a process of getting to know myself from the inside out (done through writing and self-forgiveness)... learning what it means to take responsibility for my own thoughts, feelings, and emotions and stopping all blame as if others were placing these experiences within me. What I think, feel, say and do exist in me, comes from within me, so they are my responsibility. Period. End of story. Simple.

Next was learning responsibility in living with another. The past 3 years I have been learning what it means to take responsibility for myself while co-existing with another. "It takes two to tango" took on a whole new meaning and I realized the state of my partners and I's relationship/agreement/life together was also my responsibility. It wasn't just his... even though that seemed to be what I fell back on on the most. I had the tendency to go into blame and victimization, making myself disempowered by the things I felt were not satisfactory for us. The arguments or conflicts, the unkempt house, the lack of sharing responsibilities was prevalent... but I could not blame my partner for that! It takes two to tango, and if things were continuing to be what I did not like, why the hell was I disempowering myself and saying "... it's because HE'S not doing anything...." when the question is, "... what the hell am I going to do to change it?"

This is where responsibility became real for me. Realizing the reach of my responsibility... asking myself how far does my responsibility go? If I walk into a room and it's in disarray and I don't like it, instead of my first response being "I can't believe HE did this," it should actually be, "right - well I have two arms, two legs, and an able body so I should MOVE myself to make this right (as how I'd like this room to be) and get on with sorting it out."

So I stopped the blame game, realizing this is a red flag for where I'm actually abdicating my responsibility to something, and started empowering myself to change what I wanted to change - to change what I was not satisfied with, because who else is going to do it? If things were in a state that I saw was not to our utmost potential, I can be the one to change it. I don't need him to, when I'm the one that wants to see it change.

I'd rather empower myself to act, because I see I can and I see what's necessary, than wait around in disempowerment saying, "woe is me... why doesn't anyone take responsibility for anything??" I am some body. And I can take responsibility.

Another example was when we got our pup... and pups come with great responsibility. This being's well being depends on us to thrive, most simplistically with daily exercise as walks. This is where I had to face the fact that responsibility means there is no choice to make when it comes to doing what is best, just a simple act. Though the act itself isn't always simple or easy, it can be quite challenging in fact, but it is simply here for you to do, and so from that perspective it is easy.

You act despite how you feel about it. Depsite you not wanting to go for that walk today, you do it anyway because it's best for this being you are responsible for. And so I learned what it means to take responsibility for someone other than just myself. To realize that this being's life IS dependent on who I am and I am responsible for it either way. Whether that dog becomes anxious, stressful with all sorts of destructive behavior that follows or lives in the moment, is relaxed, fulfilled in all its basic needs, that is my responsibility. This is where I started seeing the reach of my responsibility.

And so within this last year, the question that has been most prevalent for me has been.... how far does my responsibility go? I realize that I am able to move myself to change things and to create things, and I realize I am able to take responsibility for another being's life... in the context of this life, and this existence... how far does that responsibility go? Does it have an even greater reach?

Can't I take absolute responsibility for what we have here? Can't I take responsibility for the fact that wars exist, and corruption exists, and exploitation exists and starvation exists? Aren't the nature of each of these things manifested in our greater world, seen in the smaller scale of my own life? If I'm not willing to take responsibility for my own life, how can I expect others to take responsibility for theirs? And if we can't take responsibility for ourselves how can we take responsibility for each other? And if we are not willing to take responsibility for ourselves and each other, who is?

And so I see the reach. The ability to respond in this life to what matters and what is in need. The need for someone to stand absolutely responsible for what is in creation. Because I see no God taking responsibility for everything. I see no preacher, or no church group or no spiritual movement taking responsibility for anything. I see no protesters taking responsibility. I just see a whole lot of blame. Blame on the other guys, blame on the president, and the world leaders... "they, they, they are fucked up and killing this world." No people... sorry to say, THEY are not. Because WHAT ARE YOU DOING? We have to understand the full extent of responsibility that we have as individuals to start changing this world.

This question opened up a perspective within me that was initially scary but also so effing empowering. How far does my responsibility go? What can I take responsibility for? Can I, in my responsibility of what is here, forgive it all and change it into what is best for all life? My process with responsibility has been expanding and to me is one of the ultimate keys to this process and this ability to understand life. And I've only just begun.

Who am I when I walk past trash on the sidewalk? Do I stop and pick it up or do I keep walking, seeing it, but ignoring it? That is now where I am facing responsibility on a greater scale - outside myself, my home, and my life with my partner.

Am I willing to clean up the mess I see because I'm able? Response able?

So that is where I am at, at the moment, with Responsibility. The Ability to Respond. My process with it thus far, and based on the questions I've been asking myself, seeing the direction it is going. I am willing to take responsibility for THIS life... though I'm still learning what this practically means. I can say this... we cannot take responsibility if we don't start with taking responsibility for our own minds, for our own experiences, and for our actions. And then from there how that influences other. That is where we must start. The innermost part of the smallest space within us... that is where we start with responsibility and from there, like a seed, it will open up and grow. And if I can tell you anything... although I already have lots in this blog... responsibility is the most empowering thing we can give ourselves. In responsibility you are not judging, not blaming, not waiting... you are moving, acting, and directing based on the understanding of what is best for all. And that is where we must all get to.

Thank for you taking this journey with me to becoming self-willed equals standing responsible for and as all life. Here's to our New Year :)

Artwork By: Andrew Gable and Desteni Artists

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