The RESPONSIBILITY Quotient
There is no greater denial of truth than one’s unwillingness to accept responsibility for his or her own part. Before we go further, I invite you to sit for a moment and contemplate the meaning of this sentence. For me, it means that when I do not take responsibility for my part in any given situation, I am not living in my truth and the result is usually pain and conflict.
This post is about the “R” word; Responsibility. I have written about this before but it deserves another post given what we are experiencing today. It is about why accepting Responsibility in your life is the key to your happiness and a life lived in the truth and in a higher vibration. If you disagree with this or you believe you always take responsibility for your own part, then I suggest you’re in denial. Taking responsibility is difficult and something resisted by most people, that is, until there is too much pain to deny it. The consequences of this denial and ripple effect are far reaching, cause conflict and adversely affect our spiritual, physical, mental and emotional state, personal relationships and ultimately our world. Unless one takes responsibility for his or her own part, one cannot truly learn life’s lessons and grow as a human being, foster healthy relationships or boundaries and live an honest and fulfilled life in freedom.
The hardest part for me to accept was the notion that I might be contributing to the experiences of my life. When I honestly looked at my relationships with my family, friends, colleagues, etc., I realized that I was the common denominator in these relationships. Faced with this fact, the first place I turned was within and that was where I found my truth and ultimately, fulfillment. Over the past decade, I have been on a quest for happiness and contentment. My journey and willingness of this acceptance and self-reflection has evolved over time and has happened despite of my attempts at resistance. At first I denied this and the result was more pain, however, as I persisted things have improved, albeit slowly. For an impatient person, it has been excruciating. While my journey has been difficult, it has been the most rewarding quest of my life thus far. The WHY of the pain you have experienced might have been different but the feelings and emotions as the result of the WHY are likely the same. The pain I experienced was low self-esteem, self-pity, fear, anger, anxiety, depression, loneliness, sadness and the list goes on. When I reflected on my part, what I discovered about myself was not great or pretty and certainly didn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy. The self-reflection dredged up sludge that I did not know existed. The life everyone told me I could have and should desire was supposed to have resulted in happiness and contentment, however, my reality was much different. The sludge was more like muck which resembled the delusional, murky and sticky reality of my life. Even though I did not like what I saw, I realized that the muck was where all the nutrients were hiding but so disguised I couldn’t see it.
Our society is experiencing a great shift in consciousness right now and as part of this shift, humanity is questioning the values for which we claim to adhere, which are the values proclaimed by our, inter alia, government, religious and financial institutions and familial structures born out of these powers (the “Powers”) to be the foundation for how we as a people conduct ourselves. It would appear the following values (principles/standards) are some of what we believe to be revered by most societies on this planet: freedom, independence, honesty, truth, community, love, compassion, inclusiveness and tolerance. The problem however (always in part), is that our conduct and our tolerance of certain behaviours do not match the values we believe form part of our identity. The incongruence between these values and our actual reality lead to conflict, both externally and internally.
The “Structure” (or our society) in which we live, and what we have bought in to, is no longer serving the common good and those who are ready for this awakening and are those people lead to a mass questioning of why and why not. Our curiosity is peaked and we are no longer complying with what the Powers are presenting or delivering, namely the Structure. When our curiosity rises to the surface and the answers reveal the truth and we remain complacent within the existing Structure, the incongruence is further exposed. Our suffering is the result of clinging to Structure despite knowing better.
It is a great time to be alive and much will change as the result of this shift and mass awakening, so long as we remain diligent in our quest to take responsibility and get to our truth, both individually and collectively. The Powers have made our Structure, namely, the laws and policies, which form (or should resemble) the foundation of our values. The Powers have told us what to eat, who and what to like/love and desire, who and what to worship, where and how to live and why. In my not so respectful opinion, the Powers, which create the Structure have delivered up “Bullshit”, which does not align with our values and truth. Equally discouraging is our collective acceptance of this Bullshit. We as a people, have eaten up this Bullshit without query or further investigation and have asked for seconds. Our current suffering is the result of the mass delusion fed to and ingested by all of us by the Powers who do not want you to question why or why not. While taking responsibility is not about pointing fingers, we must first understand the context of where we are to understand where we have to go. A quick glimpse into our reality will reveal a society laden in debt, addiction, fleeting relationships, lack of community, isolation and fear. Why are we so unhappy? Why are more people depressed, obese and suffering from anxiety and dis-ease generally? The Powers will be the first to tell you that this dissonance we are feeling is actually an illusion and for those really living outside of the Structure, a delusion. They’ll tell us to take the pill, inject the substance, buy the thing and you’ll feel better. They’ll tell us THEY are the problem and make decisions to rid ourselves of the discomfort which comes at the expense of human rights/dignity. What’s worse is that the Powers disguise their solution as benefitting the Structure and play on our fear and insecurities to justify their solution. These “solutions” however, directly benefit the Powers and only the Powers. But, what about you? What about US?
So, who can we blame for the mess that we are in? One would think that the Powers should be blamed, but that is not correct. It’s not their fault. So, if it’s not their fault, who is to blame if there is any blame to lay? I believe that the blame rests with us, me and you, and our general malaise, willingness and blind acceptance of the Bullshit the Powers have dolled out; that we have eaten up without further inquiry as to whether what we were ingesting was good for us. Unlike food poisoning, which has a rapid onset however, the Bullshit we’ve eaten up is subtle, more like Gaslighting. It’s been mass manipulation and not dissimilar to the manipulative abuse experienced in a domestic violence scenario. We are being manipulated and don’t even know it.
Accepting this notion that we are to blame is the first step in taking Responsibility. Part of our human nature is to believe in what others we trust are telling us. This includes the Powers influence, but also include our families and friends and our communities. However, for those in tune with the shift, as the gap between what we feel in hearts and how we live our lives widens, we most likely experience great discomfort and conflict. I know that I did personally, which was why it was so important for me to get clear on my values. The discomfort may be described as cognitive dissonance, which is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas or values at the same time. The mental stress however is just the beginning. From this, physical maladies take hold and our decision-making ability becomes more and more precarious, especially if we are constantly told that what we are feeling is incorrect or can be cured or satisfied by ingesting further Bullshit. This purgatory/denial is very uncomfortable and rather than sit in the muck to find the nutrients, which leads to taking responsibility, we tend to do the opposite and deflect responsibility so that we can escape the shame or the duty that then is bestowed upon us, requiring action. Some common examples of this deflection include:
- If I get X, then I will be……
- If you only experienced what I experienced, then you would understand why I did ….
- I had no other choice than to …
- Ya but……
Can you identify with any of these? For a long time, I fed into this and when I am not being mindful of my behaviour and actions (which continuously happens, albeit less frequently as I learn to listen), I find that I fall into the same deflection traps. These are all euphemisms for “I’m not prepared to take responsibility for my actions in this situation, I am not taking responsibility for my thoughts, behaviour or beliefs”. By avoiding responsibility, we are lying to ourselves and those with whom we interact. This mass denial has energy too and it ripples across state lines, boundaries and walls. Its toxic energy has infiltrated the world.
There is no solution is finger pointing. I am responsible for my own behaviour, actions, beliefs and reactions. So are you. When I am pointing one finger at you, three are pointing back at me. Just because the Powers and the Structure tell us we should do something or that something is wrong or right, is it? When do we take charge of who we and what we are and what is important to us?
I’ve not always made the correct choice, but then again, maybe I did? I’m not ashamed of or regret my experiences. Some have been easy to accept and others challenging. To say they were good or bad is not the point or the correct way to view it. Every opportunity or outcome has been the exact opportunity or outcome I needed to experience in my journey to finding my truth. It wasn’t right or wrong or good or bad. It just was. It was my responses to these experiences however, where I may be judged, but in the experiences, there can be no judgment or label. These experiences have shaped the person I am today and I can honestly say that I am grateful for each experience (although, at the time this gratitude was allusive). It was devastating for my ego to learn that I might have a role in the dynamic of each situation I experienced, but upon accepting my part and seeing the truth, the real growth and healing began.
I believe there are many benefits to accepting responsibility, which will then benefit you and the Structure and will challenge the Powers. We are all given free will to choose. It is a fallacy that we are not given this freedom and a convenient excuse for staying stuck in the deflections/muck. The immediate benefits to taking responsibility, including the following:
- reduction/elimination of conflict;
- reduced stress, anxiety and fear;
- healthier bodies and minds; and
- Freedom from our bondage to the Powers and the current Structure.
How will you show up in your life today? What will you do to live in the Solution? Be the light and the change you wish to see.
The Essence of Taking Responsibility
What are values and why is it important in the context of taking responsibility? Values are the standards and principles by which we live that guide our behavior. They are the very essence of why we need to take responsibility. Having accepted that we have been complicit in our decisions, we need to examine our values (both personal and collective) so that we can get a benchmark for how we are to conduct ourselves. Have you ever felt uncomfortable about a decision you made? Can you remember how your stomach might have felt in that instance? What did you do about it? If you did nothing, what was the result? When we do not know our values, we cannot act in our truth. When we make decisions and our values are compromised or ignored, the result is uneasiness and internal conflict. Therefore, our goal is to know our values and live by them to the best of our ability. This is standing in our truth. This seems a simple concept and easily put into practice, but is it? Are our values the same in all areas of our life and for all people? They should be but upon reflection, I submit they are not.
One reason for the discord in our world right now (and perhaps in your personal life) is because our values are misaligned with the values I believe to be inherent to all humans. At best these values are misappropriated. You might agree that some inherent and shared values include commitment, integrity, loyalty, tolerance, honesty and compassion, to name a few. Most people will be able to identify these within their own specific cohort that they believe to be special to them. For instance, the extremists/fundamentalist are extremely loyal to their cause and the people who support their same mission/goal. However, the same value is the same value seemingly cherished amongst all peoples and countries. We are more likely to practice these values with other family members and friends than others we don’t know much about or care to know much more about. At first blush the value of loyalty seems to be consistent amongst everyone. It’s not that we don’t share the same values, we are just picky about with whom these values are bestowed. In some cases, we plainly refuse to have this value operate to others we choose not to love and accept.
The question is, if we all share similar values, why can we not align these values so that they transcend all boundaries, state lines, religious organizations etc. and why can’t we live according to these values on a consistent basis? The reason for this is because the fear and bullshit conferred upon us by the Powers which, in part, have us looking for differences rather than similarities, which are motivated by power and control rather than love. Our world is suffering from a mass hole in the soul disorder. Further, what makes this more complicated is the Powers have created laws and policies which are most often misaligned with the “values” championed by all of us. For example, in the United States of America (and in Canada), we hear routinely how sacred and important strong family values are however, the policies and laws on maternity leave (for instance) certainly would not demonstrate this is the case. Tolerance and a world free of judgment seem to be a coveted values, yet only for specific people, while others are segregated and discriminated (i.e. religious and indigenous groups for instance). When our Structure is misaligned with its values are, how is it possible for us as individuals to conduct ourselves from the place of our values? It’s not that we don’t believe these values to be important, we do. We just haven’t been mindful about being true to our values. This disconnect is a cause for the disharmony in the world.
It is absolutely essential to get clear on our values if we have a hope in hell of finding our freedom and living in our truth. Our job is to challenge the Powers and Structure and call bullshit when we see that their behavior is violating our values and morals. This is our responsibility, not only to us as individuals, but to humanity. What we are experiencing now is not only the shift but a call for everyone to get crystal clear on their values and live in truth. We must stand up and show up in our lives and stop ingesting the bullshit.
What are the values espoused by most Structure’s as being universal and true? Our responsibility is to look at each value and assess how our actions, both individually and collectively, and our laws and policies match these values.
Katherine Kowalchuk is a lawyer living in Calgary, Alberta and speaks about responsibility and a myriad of other topics all designed to help our world “wake-up”. She is the founder of www.saynotobullshit.com and creator of www.wamhealingcentre.com.