I think everyone loves the idea of stepping into personal and spiritual power, which is the ability to create our human experience, through choice. But power goes hand in hand with responsibility. You can’t have one without the other. And responsibility is far less attractive and popular than power … which is why so many, many people are still not creating exactly what they want!
It’s understandable. At first glance, responsibility seems heavy and confining, like a burden. If we’re trying to change our financial situation, do we really want to stick to a strict budget, day in and day out? Or work long evening hours on our business when we’ve already put in ten hours at our day job? We know we “should” … but do we WANT to? Heck, no.
Meanwhile, irresponsibility is always tempting us with a quick, temporary “hit” of what we REALLY want. We feel free and powerful for about ten minutes when we make yet another impulse purchase on our credit card, or say “screw it” and treat ourselves to our favorite overpriced coffee beverage … because we’ve been so “good” all week … right? But the brief illusion of power and freedom quickly dissolves into even greater financial disempowerment when the next credit card bill arrives.
Whether we like it or not, responsibility is the gateway, the ultimate key, to the power and freedom that we desire for ourselves.
Of course, there’s a HUGE difference between actually taking responsibility and simply blaming ourselves!! And unfortunately, even highly conscious folks are falling into the “self-blame” trap instead of truly leveraging responsibility as the ultimate spiritual power tool.
It’s all well and good to look at our lives and say: “I know I’m responsible for this. I know I created my current situation.”
It’s even better to take this attitude one step further: “I know I created my current situation, and therefore must also have the ability to create something different.”
Except … this is NOT actually taking responsibility.
Taking responsibility is not an attitude or perspective shift. Taking responsibility is not about whether you “believe” yourself to be 100% responsible for your own experience.
If we are merely saying “I know I’m responsible” then all we’re really doing is blaming ourselves for what we’ve created. And self-blame isn’t productive.
Taking responsibility means going much, much further.
Taking responsibility means MAKING NEW CHOICES. Until we DO DIFFERENTLY … we’re just paying lip-service to responsibility. We’re actually staying stuck in a spiritual-sounding kind of self-blame that makes us feel better about ourselves. But we’re not really taking responsibility.
Taking responsibility is something we DO. And there’s always, always, always something, no matter how small, that we can do differently.
If we are taking responsibility for our health, for example, we are hitting the gym. We are eating our vegetables. We are NOT eating a pint of ice cream every night. And we’re not sitting on the couch with our aches and pains, saying “I know I created this somehow.”
But of course, sometimes we feel like we’ve DONE “everything” and are still not getting the results we want, right? That’s because the actions that would catapult us into true responsibility are hidden in our blind spot.
I remember when I hurt my back a few years ago, I tried literally “everything.” I ran around to acupuncturists, chiropractors, Rolfers … you name it. I spent many hours and a lot of money trying to fix myself. That was being responsible, right? Because I was taking action?
Nope. Because, to be perfectly honest, I was still treating my body badly.
My back pain completely disappeared when I stopped eating refined sugar.
Bingeing on sugar was the irresponsibility that was creating my physical disempowerment. Did I WANT to give up sugar? Ummm … heck, no!! And taking responsibility for my health by completely changing my diet absolutely sucked. For about three weeks. Then it got easier, because I was suddenly pain-free. Six months later, responsibility has simply become a no-brainer part of my lifestyle. Someone can devour a huge piece of cake right in front of me and it doesn’t bother me one bit.
If we are having trouble manifesting change … there is some irresponsibility that we are not willing to address. Every. Single. Time.
It’s important to recognize that taking responsibility at first makes us feel restricted. “No more sugar? EVER???” It feels like we have to GIVE UP our freedom! We have to give up a choice we actually ENJOY making! Remember, irresponsibility rewards us with the illusion of freedom and hides the disempowerment we are actually creating through our choices.
When we step into responsibility, we have to give up that temporary illusion of freedom and power … but of course, what we gain is ACTUAL, long-term, authentic power that truly allows us to CHANGE our experience towards what we want.
Here are some questions worth asking ourselves if we find ourselves stuck, unable to manifest what we want:
- Am I actually making new choices in order to create more of what I want?
- What choices am I currently making that reward me instantly – or quickly – with the energy of what I say I want?
- Do these same choices actually create the circumstances that I want, long-term?
- If I changed these same choices, could I create what I want, long-term … even though I would have to give up something short-term?
Taking a new level of responsibility generally means making a new choice that, in the short-term, is highly uncomfortable.
It’s usually a new choice that we really, really don’t WANT to make … because let’s face it, if we wanted to make that choice we’d ALREADY be doing it. Often it means having to give something up that we’re tremendously attached to.
In the short-term, stepping into a new level of responsibility isn’t pleasant.
In the long-term, however, stepping into responsibility is the ultimate unleashing of our power to create the human experience we want for ourselves.