Blame and Responsibility are NOT the Same Things

I hope you enjoy this week's vulnerable guest post by Donna Thornton. She has done a brilliant job breaking down the practicality of self-manifestation. 

I suppose you could consider me to be a “new age” kind of person. I’m certainly a spiritual person.  I know not everyone agrees with the various concepts that come out of that kind of thinking, but to me, some of it certainly rings more than true, and I like to spend time thinking about why I find them to be useful in my life, and why other people may or may not agree.  For instance, there are a lot of people that don't like the "new age" concept of personal responsibility and the idea that "everything happens for a reason" or that all the events and people in your life are there because you have drawn them there... and so on. And I can understand their dislike of these concepts. To a point.

Ideas or concepts like those CAN be used to make people feel bad and they can even be misconstrued and twisted to be used to hurt others by "blaming the victim" - however, just because they can be used that way, doesn't negate their truth, at least to me. Those are concepts I have used in my life that have completely changed it - for the better. Those are concepts and beliefs that I live by because once I came to truly understand them they became the only path to true emotional and soul healing, for me. And God knows (even if not everyone else does) the true depth of the healing I've experienced in this lifetime.

I believe that the biggest misapprehension in those ideas and concepts come from not understanding the difference between responsibility and blame. And that was something I grappled with for a long time. It felt like so often (my perception), when people told me those things, that they were saying I somehow was to BLAME for all of the shitty stuff that happened in my life. That I was to BLAME for the illnesses and the abuse and the really horrible people and circumstances that had made up a lot of my life. And that, sir, was just not okay with me.

It's just that once I was able to go deeper into my spiritual understanding of God and the Universe, I came to see that it's never been about BLAME. And once I was able to get THAT, I was then able to go to the next thing, and start to understand about RESPONSIBILITY. In taking responsibility for myself and my life, I am able to change it. Until I was able to do that, I can tell you, I wasn't going anywhere good, my friend.

It really doesn't matter if you believe that events were ordained, or if you have soul agreements with other souls to create all your experiences (both happy and hurtful) or if you believe there is a lesson in everything that happens or not. (Just for the record, I believe those things.) Honestly, that's the part that people get way too hung up about. I would (and do) suggest that people not focus on that part. It kind of almost doesn't make any difference, true or not true.

If you want to change your life, the first thing you MUST do is take responsibility. Yes, there are very real illnesses and very real trauma that happens and very shitty things like seeing other people suffer and having loved ones leave our lives. And yes, I would LOVE to have that magic trick that would make all of that not true... that would somehow put me in CONTROL of the people and events in my life. But guess what? Control is a grand illusion and none of us can control any of it, and if you are attaching to "new age" beliefs because somehow you think they can help you control things, there again you are experiencing a huge misunderstanding!

Let go of the notion of blame. Let go of the illusion of control. And then, step up and take responsibility. Take responsibility for how you react to the people and events in your life. Take responsibility for how you look at your past and how you allow it to rule or not rule your life today. Taking responsibility for your thoughts and your actions is really the only way to create true healing. At least it is the only way that worked for me.

When you step up and take responsibility, you aren't taking on blame, but you are letting go of the idea that you can blame anyone else for whatever is happening in your life. You may still feel pain and grief and anger and all of those very normal, very human feelings when stuff happens, and that is absolutely good and appropriate, but when you start taking responsibility, you start understanding that that is what they are. Feelings. Emotions. And you understand that they come from you and they belong to you. You can no longer blame anyone or anything outside of yourself for them. But the good news is that you also start to understand that feelings are neither right nor wrong... they just are. They come and they go. And they have a place, but they do not have to rule us or dictate our lives or our experiences.

You know what? I'm not perfect. No one is. I don't have a perfect record for taking responsibility in my own life. But it is definitely something I strive to do, every moment of every day. And the truth of it is that when I do so successfully, my life is ALWAYS less painful, happier, more peaceful and full of so much more of the things I really want.

I don't know if any of that helps. I hope it does.

Donna Thornton

Founder and Owner of Onederous TribeCreating Inspired People

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