Personal Responsibility

At times, we seem to be a nation of victims. We try to pass off our discomfort, our negative reactions, and our malaise onto others. During a time long ago, when we were infants and helpless children not fully grown into our personal power, we were at the mercy of adults and the greater world around us.  We depended upon others to make a safe place for our survival and happiness, and any threat to us was a very real karmic event. In truth, all of us have experienced this to a greater or lesser degree.

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This is not to say that there are not real dangers in the world to our physical, mental, and emotional selves, but rather that as consciously evolving adults, the responsibility for our safety and well-being rests largely upon ourselves.  If you choose to remain in victim consciousness, you will never be free of your karmic patterning and your past limitations, and no authentic growth can be possible.

The 90 – 10 Rule

A good rule of thumb for those wishing to consciously evolve is the 90 – 10 rule. This rule states that your experience is 90% your responsibility and only 10% that of an outside triggering person or other agent.  This, in essence, is a succinct summation of two of the “Four Agreements” of Don Miguel Ruiz: “Don’t take anything personally” and “Don’t make assumptions.”  We assume someone is out to hurt us in some way and we then take it very personally. A summation of these two agreements:

Don’t take anything personally – Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Don’t make assumptions – Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.

I consider these two precepts to be absolutely crucial to the process of attaining self responsibility, freedom, and spiritual awakening.

By definition, your feelings, perceptions, thoughts, and sensations are yours. Yes, someone outside of yourself may trigger these, but once they are experienced by you, they are your responsibility. You may hold on to them, or you may transmute and let go of them. By accepting this responsibility, we take back our power to create the experience of our lives, our ability to be free of past patterns and limitations, and anxiety about our future.

This precious moment is all we have; let us create it with as much joy, freedom, power, and consciousness as possible.  © 2012 Keith E. Hall and All rights reserved.  Get a podcast of this article.

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