Radical Responsibility - The First Step in Changing Your World
It’s not my fault. He did it. Don’t blame me; she’s the one who can’t seem to get anything done.
To me it’s all too familiar. We grow up learning to blame others. In the beginning, we do it to please our parents. Then it becomes part of daily living. We turn into victims and whiners.
The enlightened amongst us take responsibility for their actions and thoughts. Personal responsibility is a good start. But what about the rest of creation? Whose responsibility it is?
Wars, famine, violence, political instability, poverty and so many other things in our world happen every day. We view them as out of our control. It’s the giant corporations, the industrial complex and politicians who are responsible—not us.
In our attempt to feel better and have a sense of involvement to change things we donate to charitable causes, sign petitions, maybe write about an issue or simply complain about it. This absolves us from any further guilt—we did our part.
Has our world really changed much because of our so-called involvement? Is that all we can do? Why do we still have the same issues? With every war, more anti-war demonstrations take place, yet the war itself causes more devastation.
There has to be a better way to change what we don’t like without resistance, reaction or complacency—a more powerful yet gentler way.
Responsibility from a broader perspective
Let’s take a more radical approach to responsibility. What if I told you we are responsible for more than our own actions and thoughts? We are responsible for everything and everyone in our world. Your entire world is your creation.
How can you be responsible for everything?
Everything you experience within the field of your awareness is a projection of what’s within you. If you don’t like what you’re experiencing, the problem is not what’s out in the world, but what’s within you.
This is what Dr. Len proved when he healed an entire ward of criminally insane patients. He didn’t see the patients. He just studied their charts and looked within to see how he created their illness. As he worked on himself, his patients began to heal.
Your true change starts when you take responsibility for your entire life and not just aspects of it. When you focus on your part in creating your life experiences, you move from blaming others and complaining to personal action. You’re not a victim but a creator. From this perspective comes the true power of transforming the world—your world.
How to practice radical responsibility
Being fully responsible for everything can be a hard concept to grasp. Start gradually and be kind to yourself. Consider the following:
1. Heal yourself.
If you want to change the world, you have to heal your life. You can do this by looking inward, finding the discord/disease in yourself. Don’t try to resist your thoughts and emotions. Embrace them instead and greet them with love and understanding. The most powerful thing you can do is to forgive and love yourself—only from this place, you can heal yourself and your world. Dr. Len was able to cure the patients by simply repeating ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love you’ when he was looking at his patients files—the ward was closed consequently.
2. Drop expectations.
Radical responsibility means dropping our expectations and accepting others’ actions or current circumstances as information or feedback. If someone did something, great. If they didn’t, you can consider other options. Remember you are responsible for everything and everyone—no one else is.
3. Act from a place of power.
When you really want something done and no one else is doing it, do it yourself. Act from a place of love in a calm and controlled manner. If you want the house to be clean and no one in your family is doing it, start cleaning yourself. It is the most straightforward way to get something done without blame or resistance.
4. Recognize your ability to choose.
You always have a choice in every situation and relationship in your life. To continue with the same example, if your house isn’t clean, you can clean it yourself, you can hire someone to clean or you can just leave the place as is. The choice is yours. Nagging, guilt tripping and arguing hardly work. They end up being a waste of time and energy.
5. Embrace challenges as opportunities.
Whenever you are faced with an experience you don’t like, start looking within. It is a sign that you need to deal with something in your life. Resisting what is or trying to complain and blame will aggravate the situation. This is an opportunity to heal what is troubling you.
6. Make stillness part of your daily life.
If you spend your day moving from one thing to another, you won’t get a chance to even notice what is not working in your life. Constant doing and reacting without time out to reflect can be the cause of what is wrong in your world. Be still for a few minutes every day and reflect on what you don’t like and your responsibility in creating it.
7. Practice gratitude.
It is tempting to just keep going, and not take notice of what is working in your life. If you can’t recognize the good, how can you improve anything? Appreciating what you have in your world is a great way to move forward and continue to create positive experiences.
True transformation begins with you. Gandhi said be the change that you want to see in the world. To be this change look within and do it with love—heal your world.