“The car refused to stop.” Yup, the car. Not the driver. The car. That is how a report of a policeman’s attempt to halt the driver of a stolen vehicle was relayed on the news report. We’ve all heard similar reports: “The car left the road. The car lost control…” I don’t know about you, but this drives me crazy. Long gone are the days when, “The driver of the vehicle ……..”
I grew up in a time when incident reporting included the responsibility of the perpetrator. No wonder the youth of today have such a difficult time accepting responsibility for their actions. We have “sanitized” and depersonalized our world just a bit too much!
One of the Seven Principles that guides spiritualists, and that attracted me to Spiritualism, is the one regarding personal responsibility:
In His wisdom, God has given us enormous potential; we can use that potential to improve our own lives and the lives of others. We have the ability to make decisions throughout our lives as we see fit. What each of us makes of our life is our Personal Responsibility no one can replace or override that right. No other person or influence can put right our wrong doings. ~ The Spiritualists’ National Union
I like this concept and guidance very much. I like taking ownership of my actions, always have. Even when I’ve made mistakes I like to own them. For it is through mistakes that I learn my biggest lessons. When we allow for “the blame” to fall on outside sources we rob ourselves of valuable opportunities to understand ourselves and others better. We rob ourselves of our greatest sense of empowerment.
The Spiritualist Church of Canada defines this same principle in the following manner:
Personal Responsibility for the Creation of Our Reality, through Thought, Word and Deed
We are individually responsible for the attainment of love, happiness, peace and joy in our lives by overcoming the weaknesses and limitations that prevent us from achieving these. Vicarious atonement has no place in the beliefs of Spiritualism. We alone are responsible improving our behaviour and for putting right our wrongdoings. We have been given enormous potential that we can use to enhance our own lives and to help others enhance theirs. We have the ability to make decisions throughout our lives as we see fit. This potential is our Personal Responsibility that no one else can override…………(for the complete wording: Personal Responsibility)
Just think. We alone have the responsibility to attain love, happiness and joy within our lives. Wow. No need to try to manipulate anyone, no need to search out that elusive something that we have been convinced will make our lives perfect if only we could capture it; that thing or person outside of us. For it is within us that we will find what we are truly searching for. That sense of peace and love that comes with self-acceptance and self-respect.
No person or situation can make us truly happy. We alone are responsible for our own happiness and sense of fulfillment. Personal responsibility frees us to be all we can be. What a marvellous gift to give oneself. What a wonderful gift to give to our world. Give it a try, I think you will like it. It won’t be easy but it will be well worth your while.