We must realize that responsibility is power. Deciding to take full ownership, unlimited responsibility for one’s own life and circumstances, is the most majestic decision a person can make. We’re raised to believe that responsibility is somehow a negative concept. “Who is responsible for this?!” the teacher would cry whenever a kid stepped out of the proverbial box of indoctrination.
The truth is that responsibility is the conduit for transformation, for change. Therein lies its power. When I was suffering immensely from undiagnosable autoimmune issues a few years back, I was frantically looking for scapegoats. The government, big pharma, doctors, dermatologists, even the homeopathic practitioner I went to see a couple times. Everyone was against me, everyone was responsible for my sorry state. As may condition deteriorated, mentally and physically, and I was slowly but surely crawling toward the precipice of suicidal contemplation, I hit a breaking point.
In a very short span of time I finally realized that whether or not all these other entities and people had impacted my health in negative ways (which they certainly did), they would never be able to heal me, even if they wanted to. The only way toward true health lay in indiscriminate ownership of my unfortunate situation. That meant taking on the heavy burden of responsibility, to make myself responsible for where I was and where I wanted to go. But as I took on this new burden of full ownership, another even heavier burden was lifted from my shoulders: the burden of victimhood.
You see, victimhood is a fool’s game. That’s not to say that there aren’t actual victims in the world. There certainly are, thousands, millions. But there’s a difference between circumstantial and indefinite victimhood. I know more people than I care to admit who I would classify as professional victims. These people have decided to identify themselves fully with their grievances, shirking any and all responsibility for their place in life. These are the sorriest people I know. They realize not that in refusing to come to terms with their role in their own victimhood, they are also refusing the power for changing their circumstances.
My wellbeing, my feelings, my happiness, they declare, are not my burden to bear. The capitalists, the state, the medical industry, my family and friends, these people are capable of making things better for me, and in fact it is their duty to make my life better.
This mindset is a sure-fire way to personal destruction.
When a man or woman decides that enough is enough, that they will no longer place their aspirations in the greasy hands of politicians, physicians, or pornographers, and instead take their hopes and dreams for a better life and direct their energies to that end, the tables will have turned. There is nothing to gain from externalizing responsibility. That’s not to say that one shouldn’t accept help when needed. There’s a difference between accepting good will and demanding good will. The former is gracious, and the latter is an abomination.
Demand only the respect and courtesy inherent to your humanity. All else must be earned. Those who feel they deserve the fruits of another’s labour are on a path of lack and misfortune.
Responsibility must be taken on in all areas of one’s life, be it physical health, finances, love, or spirituality. There are so many traps, gurus, miracle cures, pyramid schemes, toxic relationships, all kinds of things that can suck us into expecting something for nothing.
Life demands work. Existence demands that we sweat for what we hold dear. This is universal law, but it doesn’t have to be as terrifying as it may sound. By the mere realization and implementation of this principle, things become instantly better. This is because mind represents all there is, and when the mind is bogged down by limited beliefs and dogmatic suppositions, it becomes incapable of manifesting the ideas and concepts that will move us forward.
In my own life, I’ve had trouble implementing this principle of responsibility in some areas. In others it comes and goes. Life seems to involve a complex series of remembering and forgetting, experiencing paradigm-shattering epiphanies and losing them into the ether once more.
For example, one area I’ve struggled with for my entire life is sexuality.
It always seemed confusing to me, incomprehensible even. I’ve had trouble controlling my sex drive for the longest time. Pornography was an unwelcome companion throughout adolescence, and hasn’t left me yet, apart from some long breaks here and there. In this area like many others, I consistently fail to stay accountable to myself. However, as I grow older and, dare I say it, wiser, I’ve come to realize that I haven’t been honest with myself, and I haven’t been rational.
Suffice to say, the framework I’ve been working from hasn’t been effective, and I’ve been holding myself to somewhat unattainable standards. This can obviously have very detrimental effects, no matter in what area of life we’re talking about. If one sets standards that are impossible to live up to, one can do nothing but fail again and again.
After a while, hope is all but lost, but still we continue to follow the same rocky path, even though it leads right back to where we started.
Responsibility, combined with rational inquiry and consistent action, will take you to where you want to go. Our lives are our own, and we must make of them what we will.
If you want to delve further into these matters, might I suggest that you check out my book (cha-ching!) Health, Simplified, available through Amazon here. It’s a concise chronicle of my own healing journey, the insights I’ve gained, and the incredible transformation that’s possible through taking full responsibility of your own health.
You can also check out the other videos on my YouTube channel, where I go deep into various aspects of health.