“A sense of responsibility gives us the power to make changes in our lives. When we play the role of a victim, we use up our personal power to be helpless.” – Louise Hay
A sense of responsibility or blame
I am convinced that with one’s own pattern of thinking and feeling one contributes to the creation of every condition in life, whether it’s good or bad. The thoughts we think give rise to our feelings and then we begin to live our lives in accordance with those feelings and views. This does not mean that we should feel guilty about the bad things in our lives. There is a difference between having a sense of responsibility and blaming yourself or others. When I say responsibility, I really mean having power. Self-blame is a waste of one’s strength. A sense of responsibility gives us the power to make changes in our lives. When we play the role of a victim, we use up our personal power to be helpless. If we decide to take responsibility for ourselves, then we don’t waste time shifting the blame to someone or something out there. Some people feel guilty for causing illness, or poverty, or trouble. They have made the choice to interpret a sense of responsibility as a sense of guilt. (Some journalists call this “New Age guilt.”) Such people feel guilty because they feel they have failed at something. But they usually tend to take anything as an excuse because it’s just another way to perceive themselves as losers. But that’s not what I’m talking about.
If we are able to use our problems and illnesses as occasions to think about how we can change our lives, it means that we have power. Many people who have overcome a tragic illness claim that it was the best thing that ever happened to them, because it gave them the chance to rethink their lives. On the other hand, many people are always saying, “I’m a victim, poor me. Please, doctor, fix me.” I think this type of person would have a very hard time recovering or dealing with their problems.
The sense of responsibility and our ability to respond to a given situation
We always have a choice. And it doesn’t mean denying who we are or what we have in our lives. So let’s just realize that we ourselves contributed to get to where we are. If we take responsibility, we have the power to change. Better to say, “What can I do to change this?” We need to understand that each of us has personal power at our disposal at all times. It depends on how we use it.
Many of us now realize that we grew up in dysfunctional families. We carry with us many negative feelings about our own nature and our attitude towards life. My childhood was full of abuse, including sexual. I longed for affection and tenderness, and I had no self-esteem. Even after I left home at the age of 15, I continued to encounter violence in various forms. I didn’t realize at the time that the pattern of thinking and feeling I had adopted earlier in my life was bringing this violence to me. Children often respond to the mental atmosphere of the adults around them. So I was introduced to fear and violence early on, and as I grew up, I continued to reproduce the same experience myself. I was positively unaware that I had the power to change all that. I was mercilessly harsh on myself because I thought my lack of love and tenderness meant I must be a bad person. All the events you have experienced in your life up to this point have been caused by your thoughts and beliefs from the past. But let us not look back on our lives with shame. To accept the past as part of the richness and fullness of our lives. Without that richness and fullness, we would not be here today. You shouldn’t blame yourself for not doing better. You did the best you knew how. Let go of the past with love, thanking it for bringing you to your present new awareness. The past exists only in our consciousness and in the way we choose to view it in our thoughts. We live in this moment. We feel at this moment. We are acting at this moment. What we do now lays the foundation for tomorrow. So now is the time to make a decision. We can’t do anything tomorrow, we can’t do anything yesterday. We can only do it today. So what matters is what we choose to think, believe and speak right now. When we become aware of our thoughts and words, we already have tools we can use. I know it may sound very simple, but remember: the lifeblood of power is always in the present moment.
“The Power Is Within You” – Louise Hay