The other day, I was having a chat with Darling about taking responsibility. Although many masters, articles and teachings have disseminated the secret to us, yet many of us are unwilling to look at it. When I talk to people about taking responsibility, somehow they look back at me innocently and still say, “but it is their fault, it is not my fault!! They are the ones who make me feel miserable!!”
Well, I am not saying that they are doing it on purpose; neither am I not saying that they don’t know what I am talking or sharing about. The truth is that, they know – and they also know, that it is a painful process. Knowing, does not indeed equate to acknowledging. Pain is the very thing we escape from our lives, and yet we try to prove to others and ourselves how much we love ourselves or others through our actions and our words. Seriously, who are we kidding but ourselves? If a couple were to disagree with me on this, then they are exactly looking at themselves in the mirror and can never honestly tell each other, “I love you”. You want to know why? Because each time one’s button is pushed, the other will always be the blame; and if the buttons are pushed too on the one who is blamed, then he or she blames back the one who blamed him or her in the first place. Ask ourselves authentically with honesty, isn’t this the truth? How many times we do sincerely apologize for our errors? Even if we do apologize, are we truly recognizing our errors? Or, merely apologizing to ‘kiss and make up’ to keep the peace?
It is not astonishing to find this vicious cycle repeating itself in our relationships with others. Due to lack of understanding, then maybe we could forgive ourselves for not recognizing our errors made in the first place. But what if, the knowledge has been passed on to us, and yet, we are not willing? Then whose suffering is it except our very own? We think that we can make another suffer by blaming another, but I am sure you have noticed that even if we had felt a little better after the blaming session, the feeling of hurt deep down inside lingers on. If blaming was the rightful thing to do, then surely we must experience peace after that, no? Then how come, how come the hurt and pain is still lurking at the back of the mind? And then comes the next day, we might feel a little better, and we decide that we want to stay ‘present’, ‘in the now’ and forget about what happened yesterday and begin running our errands, going about our daily chores and then that upset is ‘forgotten’ –at least for a while… before and until the same button is being pushed again and I can assure you that this cycle does not take long to replicate itself albeit in different scenarios.
I told Darling that if all it takes for me to do to experience loving and peaceful relationships with people around me is to take responsibility for my own hurts, pain, anger and especially misperception, it is a darn good deal – because all else outside, all relationships, all surroundings, even a lifeless car is just a projection of what is in me. When I fully take responsibility for my own shit, I am taking care of myself and also others. As I nurture myself, so are others nurtured and our relationships cannot reflect otherwise. Now, isn’t that a darn good deal?
Many people ask me, “how to take responsibility?” The first step, is to turn the radar inwards, as in to STOP blaming or pointing fingers to the outside. If we are still trying to fix what is outside, i.e. the projection or effects of the cause in the mind, I can tell you now that we would be wasting our time. And yet, to stop that habit of blaming or pointing fingers at others be it a person or a situation, will mean that we will need to look into our inner world. In words, it doesn’t look scary; but in experience, it can be much more terrifying than Freddy Krueger in Nightmare of Elm’s Street. But you see, my dear friend, that is the road that will lead us to our inner peace and freedom. It may look intimidating, but have courage and willingness. With these two qualities, it is enough to walk through it, and you will find a very beautiful gift awaiting you.
We talk about the relationships we cherish, love and care about often – and yet, this is the only thing we really need to do in order to keep the relationships we claim we treasure, love and care about. We say to our parents, our child, our lover, our friends, “I will do anything for you. I will even die for you.” And here, no one is asking us to do anything or even die – but only to take responsibility of our own pains, only to be willing.
There is no other way to experience relationships with ourselves or others that reflect otherwise except what is in the mind. When we start understanding and remembering that everything that we experience are just ideas running in the mind, projected outwards; we will begin with inquisitiveness and interest to dissolve our blocks. Once the blocks are removed, and this can only be done by taking responsibility being the first step, we will constantly be guided to transcend unuseful ideas which will allow our true state of being with ourselves and the people around us. Now, if that is all we have to do, isn’t that a darned good deal?