Responsibility isn’t a bad word! – Part 1
Responsibility isn’t a bad word, nor is it a dirty word. It really has to do with owning your life and having the freedom to change. Some people think responsibility is taking care of things for the people you feel responsible for and it can feel really heavy. I don’t want to feel responsible for my money, other people or life. Of course, this feels heavy.
When this happens, it could lead into being codependent, if you’re not careful, when taking responsibility for others. So many of us think we are responsible for other’s emotions or how people respond or react to us. For example, you may say something like I’m not going to say anything because I don’t want to hurt your feelings or If I do something that will make you feel bad, I will feel bad. Believing this can cause codependent relationships.
The definition of responsibility I teach through the Essence of Being , is the ability to respond which in turn determines the quality of our life.
Below the Line Behaviors
There is a statement I also use which is “below the line.” What does that mean? Below the line refers to behaviors such as blaming others, shaming yourself, making excuses and feeling guilty. It only wastes time and nothing changes.
When acting out these behaviors toward an institution, an event or situation, or your life for things that happen to you, energetically, you are giving your power away. What you are saying is “Go ahead, do it to me. There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m a big V (Victim) and I can’t change anything.” When you feel like you can’t change anything, it becomes heavy and you become stuck.
With this type of thinking, you tend to blame others for the experiences and become part of what I call the BMW Brigade (bitching, moaning and whining). It is important that you notice what is going on and just be mindful. It may feel good to bitch, moan and whine for the moment but nothing changes and it wastes time.
When this occurs and you are finding yourself in blame mode, just notice it and say, “Ok, I’m blaming again and I’m going below the line.”
The other side of the same coin is that when you aren’t blaming others, then you are blaming yourself. When this happens, it becomes shame when you believe that what happened was your fault.
Taking responsibility doesn’t mean that what happened is your fault. When you shame yourself for something you are also giving your power away, energetically, by saying, “I am to blame and I feel guilty.”
Here is where things take a turn for the worst. When you feel guilty, that vibration demands and creates punishment. When you are feeling guilty and you’re in shame, you will create situations in your life that will bring you more punishment. Somebody or a situation will come into your life that punishes you and if that doesn’t happen, then you might turn on yourself and self-sabotage or self-punish.
When you are in self-sabotage, shame or guilt, again, changes won’t happen for you and again, you are giving your power away. What you are really saying is, “There’s nothing I can do about it, I’m gonna beat myself up until I’m black and blue.” This process could be done energetically, emotionally and for some, physically.
Another below the line behavior includes making excuses or justifying your position. Some people tend to become righteous about their position just to prove they are right. Sometimes they do it even when they know it isn’t working for them. These folks would say, “Hey, they always do that and I have the right to retaliate! This always happens to me.” The excuse is always, “It’s not my fault!”
In taking responsibility, no one is at fault. Fault implies there is shame or guilt involved.
Rising Above the Line
Change comes when you are willing to rise above the line.
The only way to make a change in your life and have the freedom from the endless cycle of blame, shame and guilt, is to ask yourself, “How did I co-create this situation? How can I change it next time? Now that is taking ownership!
These kinds of questions are “above the line” behavior and it is energetically the only way of shifting ourselves from creating the same situations over and over again. Once you change your beliefs, your outside world will change and you will create a new pattern. Then you will be free to make changes in your life.
Actions, Thoughts, Beliefs
You are not responsible for other’s actions, thoughts or beliefs; you are only responsible for your own. For example: “Yes, I did get up late, so that’s why I’m late.” “Yes, I wasn’t clear in my communication with Amy, so she assumed I said something I didn’t. Next time I’m going to be clearer.”
Responsibility can be another word for freedom, to create a better life for yourself and not be stuck in the same patterns. Taking ownership of your actions, thoughts and beliefs is the only way to rise above the ego, the blame, guilt and shame because when you do, it’s a way that you can really say, “I can do something about this!”