Taking responsibility

 

My practice these days seems to be taking responsibility or my own choices and actions, and my part in the consequences of these choices and actions.

As any other area of practice, it is a rich and fertile area of exploration.

First, I notice that when I hear it from others, it may come across as moralizing, as a “should”. Instead, I can take it as a question, as something to explore for myself in immediacy. What happens when I don’t take responsibility for my own choices and actions? What happens when I do?

I also notice that it is easy to say, and it is even easy to do to some extent and in some areas of life. But there is always further to go.

I also notice some symptoms of when I avoid taking full responsibility, such as complaining silently to myself or out loud to others, blaming myself, others, or life, and stress and discomfort in general. These are reminders and invitations to explore what is going on. Are there some choices and actions – related to what I complain, blame or are stressed out about – that I don’t take full responsibility for? What happens if I shift into taking full responsibility for these?

And I notice that I can recognize that my choices and actions have infinite causes – evolution, culture, family dynamics, expectations of others, own fears, confusion, and beliefs. And yet, I can still take full responsibility for my own choices and actions. The two are unrelated.

When I don’t take full responsibility for own choices and actions, and for my role in their consequences, there is complaints, blame, and distress, as mentioned above. There may also be regrets, a narrowing of view and options, and a sense of powerlessness. All of those are signs that something is off. My views are not aligned with reality, with what I know – somewhere – is more honest for me.

And when I shift into taking fuller responsibility, there is a sense of relief, of coming home, and being more aligned with what (already) is more honest for me. Thoughts seem more realistic and grounded, and emotions seem to more easily align with and reflect these insights. There is a falling away of complaints, blame, and regrets. There is sense of “empowerment”. A new landscape of options and opportunities opens up for me. I made the choices and actions that created this situation, and I can chose how to relate to it, and how I act to make the best of the situation as it is.

I notice that this invites in healing and maturing. It helps straighten out my relationships with myself, others, and the world. And it may also make it easier for what I am to notice itself. There is less confusion. Less giving away of “power”. Less avoidance of what is already more honest for me. More clarity. A natural empowerment. A shift out of the victim role. And more alignment with my truth and more living and acting with integrity.

I also find the different forms of choices and actions I take responsibility for or not. Some of these are the obvious choices and actions to do something in the world. Some are choices to refrain from actions. Some are my choices and actions in how I relate to inner and outer situations, and experience in general, including any sense of a me and I. And all of these happen here now, in each moment. They are not taken once and for all, but always in every moment. Always here and now.

There are of course more layers to this. I find that when I don’t take responsibility, it comes from fear. Or rather, from trying to escape fear. And this in turn comes from beliefs. First, a belief that “I” am to be found in content of experience, an identification with an as images of an “I” as doer and observer. Then, all sorts of other beliefs about me and the world, attempting to enhance, clarify, and protect a me in the world.

As I explore all of this, I can also notice these images of an “I” and notice what happens when these are identified with, and when there is a softening or release of this identification.

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  • taking responsibility
    • easy to say, easy to do to some extent and in some areas of life
    • but as long as any complaining, any blame of oneself/others/life, not quite done
    • take responsibility of ones own choices, actions + the consequences that came out of it
      • recognize infinite causes
        • including own fear, confusion, beliefs
      • yet take full responsibility for own choices/actions
    • effects
      • sense of coming home, release, relief, less/no need to blame or complain, falling away of regret etc.
    • belief
      • ….

??

…………..

  • taking responsibility
    • easy to say, easy to do to some extent and in some areas of life
    • but as long as any complaining, any blame of oneself/others/life, not quite done
    • take responsibility of ones own choices, actions + the consequences that came out of it
    • effects
      • sense of coming home, release, relief, less/no need to blame or complain, falling away of regret etc.

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