There’s so much talk about abundance in our culture of having it all. Yet tools that actually transform into lasting love and power are few and far between!
For the daredevil at heart there’s a way to step right into the current of life and discover the limitless wellspring from which to manifest whatever we desire, from the most unlikely place of all: conflict.
Mention the R-word (responsibility) to any teenager and watch their eyes glaze over as the dreaded invisible wall goes up and, suddenly. Your lips are still moving, but they can’t hear a word you’re saying. Scratch the surface and we’ll probably find most adults are not that far removed from this reality, either! Although as grown-ups we learn ways to manage our responsibilities to the degree that is sufficient for getting by. Some of us even master it. But still, there’s a tinge of burden and even fear associated with the concept of taking responsibility for the part of our lives that aren’t the way we’d like them to be.
Here we’re not talking about ordinary responsibilities such as having a roof over our heads, paying bills or running a business. Instead, we’re focussing here on responsibility that covers how we feel about this life, about ourselves, and how we go relating with others.
Open a dictionary and you’ll see that responsibility is almost universally framed in negative language. A simple Google search revealed these:
1. having a duty to deal with something
2. having control over someone and
3. the state of being accountable or to blame for something.
Yikes! Duty, control and blame – but that’s not the full picture. What we’re exploring here is what happens when we turn this definition inside out, and responsibility is reframed as the ‘ability to respond’, literally, as opposed to react. Therefore, in theory, this should give us the power and love to live in the freedom, joy, good health, and pleasure that we so want. So in order to make this approach to living stick, there are a couple of paradigm shifts that need to occur. The first of which asks that we get over our old associations with responsibility as a drag or a burden. It’s time to start to seeing responsibility as a dose of empowerment.
We call that ‘Radical Responsibility’, where each person is the main player, creating and actively taking ownership of their own life and its outcomes. When we accept responsibility for our struggles, whatever hurt we may be unaware of is revealed, and asks to be transformed and resistance is dissolved. The payoff, as most of you know, is endlessly varied and rewarding. When the truth about who we really are starts to find expression it generates better, or more truthful, outcomes in all relationships.
Tuning into the gifts of radical responsibility means taking ownership of the stuff that we don’t always like in ourselves. This pretty much only gets revealed in difficult relating with others. In other words, when we’re triggered by someone. With awareness we can discover our unconscious motivations and even hidden pleasures in making these hurtful outcomes happen.
The upside is that taking ownership of life’s outcomes determines and heals our self-esteem! It shows the patterns in people and experiences we attract, our satisfaction in the work we do, and even our sexual fulfilment.
Yup, it means no more blaming one’s partner for an unfulfilling sex life! However, it also paves the way for our deepest intimacy ever!
Living this way, however, isn’t always easy to do. And of course we have to acknowledge that it takes two to tango in any interaction –things are not ever just about us. That’s the point – in radical responsibility, relating can be explored singularly, and, if we can master the energy of the reactive charge in us and express ourselves consciously, the charge is more likely to be diffused on both sides.
Therefore, instead of focusing on what others say and do, which we have no capacity to change (nor should we), we focus on ourselves; the only part of an interaction we can do anything about. It’s actually quite enjoyable once you start. Getting triggered after a while becomes a chance to transform an old pattern quickly. In short, radical responsibility dissolves patterns that defend us from feeling the full force of love and power streaming through life.
By owning that we are the creative power in our life we have the ability to change things
If we don’t, we remain a victim to our circumstances in life. By abdicating this responsibility we effectively hand over our power to external influences, saying that they are the source of our happiness and unhappiness. The sooner you get to this level of responsibility the sooner you have a real crack at happiness.
The opposite of radical responsibility might be living in victimhood unnecessarily, where blame and disempowerment are deliberately held onto. Energy is always at a low point in this place. As a victim, let’s face it, manifesting a decent life, let alone an awesome life, is impossible! Not only because we’re in a state of disempowerment, but also because withholding love on purpose (even if it is unconscious) results in more hurt, especially for ourselves. Over the long term it even makes us physically sick.
Having said that, there’s a place for acknowledging legitimate victimhood, when wrongs have been committed against us. Likewise, it’s important that these hurts don’t get suppressed in an attempt to reframe our hurt in a positive light, unless it feels authentic. Disowned victimhood creates just as much havoc as deliberately generating it; so being as real as possible is what matters here. Hurt is hurt and needs be owned and acknowledged as such. Here’s what’s happening with our power in the victim / creator realities:
VICTIM = my power rests with another
CREATOR = my power rests with me, even if I don’t like how it feels
Radical responsibility means that I am responsible for my energy (body) and consciousness (mind). It builds a stronger container for energy to flow through me into life.
Taking responsibility for life’s outcomes can be challenging when experiences from our family history are manifesting life as it is, in the current time.The path of radical responsibility offers a path of self-admission where the effect of our parents’ behaviour can be acknowledged and a compassionate and honest approach to life opens up the way forward.When we see that our unconscious threshold for love and affection is a straightforward reflection of that received in childhood, there comes a point at which we can’t help but dissolve some of our defence, forgive those we made wrong around us and start to heal any lack from the inside.
If we want to live at creator level, radical responsibility is the tool that provides a realistic and grounded way forward.
It says ‘yes’ to what is and helps reveal new paths to what could be.
Because upsets are inevitable, it’s so valuable to find ways to navigate triggers with a greater level of consciousness when the proverbial hits the fan.
To provide a framework for this, real upsets can be maximised to each person’s benefit using the Five Stages of Responsibility. All we need to do is raise awareness and feel and the rest takes care of itself.
Stage 1. DENIAL – we all start here –something in life triggers us so we blame and defend
Stage 2. EMOTION – the hardest to own –anger, sadness and fear –these must flow
Stage 3. UNDERSTANDING – spontaneous awareness arises in the wake of emotion
Stage 4. FORGIVENESS – the state of love restored to original fullness
Stage 5. GRATITUDE – authentic thankfulness emerges and life says yes to our longing
Stage 1 – Denial
This is the hardest of all stages to identify and admit to, because the nature of denial is… well, denial. We’re in denial when we believe an issue that is affecting us is someone else’s fault and we are the innocent victim of their deeds. In this state, no resolve is possible unless the other person changes.
Denial is thinking that these awful things are out of our control and simply ‘happening’ to us. When we’re stuck, even subtly, we’re in denial of our shadows and unfortunately our power goes out with it.
This stage can also manifest as just tiredness
Being tired or lethargic are telltale signs that an emotion is being suppressed. Something is being denied, and life force is not flowing as it could.
Evidence of denial can be found in situations like road rage, repetitive arguments with a partner, poor health while eating badly, or keeping a toxic friend. As soon as we feel the urge to blame, judge or change someone, we know that there’s a degree of denial at work. This can be hard to admit. Further, coming out of this state is naturally painful and dreaded, because we’re removing habitual protections.
In our culture, most of us haven’t been provided with the tools, community or resources to move through these vulnerable parts of ourselves in a natural and acceptable way. Many people believe difficult emotions are something that we need to get rid of. On the contrary, we need to learn to tune into them and allow their energy to come through. Coming out of denial by allowing emotion to flow creates connection inside and out.
Life inherently will dish out things to help us get clear. It wants us to be whole, to live in our potential. Love is always trying to find us. Life is coming to get us. It’s inevitable if we choose to open up to this process and let it happen.
Stage 2 – Emotion
In our intellectually oriented society most people suppress emotion, hoping to grow their lives by going from denial to understanding (the next stage) without the natural and necessary movement of held down energy the body needs to release –otherwise known as emotion.
When emotion is experienced, usually as sadness, anger or fear, insights emerge which are true, relevant, accurate and lasting.
Emotions come up because our wounds and their associated beliefs are stirred, which were probably forged in difficult situations in our early personal history. The decoupling of the emotion from the belief allows consciousness and energy to flow again as they ought to. Awareness of the real dynamics in a situation emerges, understanding deepens and we reconnect to one another.
Our issues need to be felt in the context of original events. If we can embrace the origins of our hurt, we have a much greater chance of being understood. Furthermore, we have more options for having the issue resolve.
Most people are more than willing to look at what their belief systems are, but when strong emotion is wanting to come through, people lock down, sometimes even unconscious of what’s happening in them. This is what trips many people up in becoming more responsible and powerful creators in their own lives.
A helpful rule of thumb when it comes to emotion is this:
if there’s anger then there’s a power issue at stake
when sadness is present, there’s a real or perceived loss of love
if fear is present there is a real or perceived need for survival
Understanding emotion as an organic part of the human energy system is vital for healing to occur. Emotion literally wants to connect us to our higher self and to one another.
Love is an ongoing piece of work, and not a one-off manifestation. It will require continued effort to look at blocks when they do come up and will require realigning. If we don’t have the willingness or the tools to do this we will suffer, stagnate, or settle for less love, money, and energy than what the soul knows is possible for us.
Stage 3 – Understanding
Understanding, the sort of consciousness that comes as clear insight, follows emotion. When we are released from the hold that an emotion had over us. Further, we begin to see the distorted meanings that we attach to events and interactions. Our patterns come into focus. We begin to restore power and love, and can see how it may have been relinquished in the first place.
After we’ve been through this process enough times it becomes easier to navigate. Issues we thought were immovable and unchangeable are now within our control.
Insights into possible ways forward occur naturally here and without force. When there’s understanding, we want to communicate and move in a new direction, often because we can see it for the first time. We feel in flow, embodied and healthier. In this stage of responsibility, keeping another person on the hook feels not only wrong; it feels untrue and even exhausting.
Stage 4 – Forgiveness
Real forgiveness is the spontaneous and natural restoration of love. It can only emerge when we are deeply connected with ourselves in heart and mind. In forgiveness, we give and receive the gift of freedom. We can clearly see others’ humanity in this place because we are grounded in our own.
Most importantly, self-love resumes and we experience the inner flow that true forgiveness brings. Forgiveness is a process that emerges from the heart. In true forgiveness, there is no such thing as separation. There is nothing to protect and nothing to defend.
Stage 5 – Gratitude
Gratitude is a state of grace that permeates our lives when the journey through our wounding has been owned and its energy admitted and integrated. At this stage, we can say we are living at creator level. Accordingly, gratitude spontaneously emerges when we are living in our heart. Our energy is free to flow in our bodies as vitality and good health and, in turn, through life. By this we don’t mean practices involving gratitude such as keeping a diary of things we’re thankful for – that’s lovely, but something else entirely. In this stage of responsibility we’re actually clear of excess emotion, feeling real, in flow and in connection. We fully ‘get’ how we are the creator of the life we are living, in pleasure and in pain.
Gratitude allows us to understand and be responsible for not only the abundance and flow we’ve mastered but for the chaos we create as well. We then acknowledge our hurt as the teacher, which brings even deeper connection to our higher self and makes a joyful life all the more manifest.
In gratitude we can envision our heart’s desire from a place of power and love. Here’s where we connect with our purpose and sense that the world just comes to us magnetically. It’s in this state that we know how to choose what’s right. When gratitude is arrived at personally and organically, nothing and nobody can take it away.
We all want to feel whole
Taking responsibility for our state when we are triggered brings us closer to wholeness, because every upset turns the soil of consciousness. Life will continue to send us messengers and mirrors in various forms so that we can expose the unhealed parts of our being and embody our potential for love, which is after all what we’re here for. It takes courage to turn towards our conflicts and not only own them, but maximise their value to us.
With patience and practice, radical responsibility is the creative path that liberates more withheld love and power than anything else. Actual events are simply the raw material from which we shape our future – with no will-power required. The bigger the reaction, the bigger the reward. Accordingly, when we land quite naturally in real forgiveness and gratitude, living the most authentic, joyful and empowered life becomes possible.
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