Be response-able. Be willing to respond to whatever happens along your path. Don’t fall into the negative-thinking trap of labelling certain occurrences as “setbacks,” “disappointments” or “letdowns.” Consider them instead as challenges. Responding to situations in life is much more powerful than Reacting. The book You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought by John-Roger, which I highly recommend, speaks of response-ability.
To become a responsible person you need to be accountable and stop blaming circumstance or other people. I found this fairly apt quote from the author J.K. Rowling: “There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.” Here’s another from Anne Frank “Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.”
We alone are responsible for all our thoughts and actions. When we make a mistake, which we all do – this is how we learn, then we need to do our best to put it right, which may include an apology.
It’s Not What Happens to us That Counts
It’s not what happens to us that counts but what we do and how we respond to what happens to us that makes the difference. Holding on to anger, resentment and hurts from the past will only damage us, so it is in our interest to learn a way to get through these negative thoughts and learn how to forgive.
Can we learn many negative things from our parents? Yes of course. On a more spiritual level of understanding, a good way forward is to say “thank you” (for the opportunity of having the learning experience) for in life we probably need to go through the Karma of balancing that negativity and not blaming our parents for it. Eleanor Roosevelt said “In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
Acknowledgment and Acceptance of any mistakes you may have made and apologising promptly is a good strategy. It will make people more open to forgiving you and giving you a second chance. You will have a better chance of gaining or re-gaining their respect. Learning to respond instead of reacting is a good start and maintaining a positive attitude. Taking care of your thoughts and nipping in the bud any negative ones is a must.
If you do not take responsibility for yourself you may end up depressed, hostile, untrusting, fearful, succumbing to addictions, riddled with guilt, needy, self-pitying. All rather unattractive traits.
My Own Example
In my own case I was consumed by hatred, anger and revenge after the murder of my 3 daughters. So much so that it was only in meditation that I realised that if I continued to think about hatred, anger and revenge 50,000 times a day then I would become a vengeful, hateful person. I took responsibility. Realising I was developing a negative habit I chose to work with Acceptance, Unconditional Love and Forgiveness in meditation. It was quite a process but that’s how I got through it.
Guilt was another experience of mine. “I could have been there and saved them”, “I shouldn’t have got divorced” were repetitive thoughts until I realised that I was blaming myself. Guilt leads to Blame and Blame leads to Judgements. All 3 of these things do not serve us.
My advice – be open to change and to moving out of your Comfort Zone. Yes there is always risk in doing that – it is a good thing to take some risks in life – or to become vulnerable. Seek and accept help and guidance from others. Let go fears, anger, resentfulness and more. Practise PP and use meditation.
Loving Each Day
Irresponsibility may manifest as abuse or other negative patterns. Drinking too much leads to giving up conscious control of your life and avoiding responsibility for yourself. Over-dependency on another human being -- a spouse, a lover, a child, a parent – can create a tendency toward giving up responsibility for yourself. The example of drug abuse is a very obvious one.
Often you deal with levels of irresponsibility that are very subtle. It is a wise approach to maintain control of your life, your choices and your decisions. Ultimately you are the only one who can decide the course of your life; and you are the only one responsible.
Don't attempt to get someone else to make your decisions for you. You have to learn to read the signals your universe gives you. Learn to observe and select. It's called discernment.
John-Roger from Loving Each Day www.msia.com
So, it is time to increase awareness to know about or take or teach response-ability. Unfortunately our world is full of blame and lacks responsibility. We have much to do!
All the best and once again “Seasons Greetings",
"Your gift from God is your potential – Your gift to God is to use it."
Goals, meditation and Peaceful Place are a part of my daily life and my life has changed accordingly.
Thanks (the world is slowly catching on) you have done a great service to all of us. B.S. NSW
Life has its challenges and we can grow and be made stronger by our experiences.
My key is to be healthy happy and breathe in each moment of every day. Accept the good with the not so good and turn everything into a positive. Embracing our lives. Try to be at peace with our past. Be focused and not fragile.
Your meditations gives me this balance. I will always be so thankful and grateful for experiencing what you have shared. C.J. Vic
Thanks Sandy, since attending your CHI in August 2011 I really took on board the Sandy brand of wisdom to combat the depression I was struggling with, using the recipe for this that you supplied, with meditation as the centre piece. As a result, I turfed out all the anti-depressants after six weeks, together with all the blood pressure medication I was on (Calm recommends with monitoring from your doctor of course). Net result – I feel so much better in myself – I survive on three hours sleep a night, followed by one hour's meditation, then I am raring to go. You always said, meditation was better than sleep, and it certainly seems to be working with me. All best wishes for Christmas and New Year. B.R. NSW