“Which is it?!” My client asked me, with a combination of passion and frustration.
The classic question was surfacing of just how much responsibility we should take in creating outcomes.
There is a spiritual principle being taught. It states that we are 100% responsible for every single thing that happens to us in our life. 100%?! What about the dog barking at 3 am? What about my daughter rebelling? I created those?
In today’s exploration we are going to unpack this teaching and see just where those lines are drawn.
First, let’s make a distinction to save semantics from interfering.
The distinction I’m offering is to view “responsibility” through the lens of:
Response – Ability
Second, we are living in a world with other people and those people have free will, just like us. Taking direct ownership for other people is a burden we need not carry, nor is true.
Are we responsible for their choices? No.
Are we able to respond to their choices in ways that help things go right? Yes.
Third this “spiritual teaching” can have a negative impact on us.
To be 100% responsible for everything that happens to us, including other people’s choices, is a heavy burden to carry.
But to be 100% response-able to respond to any situation that arises, including the barking dog at 2 am, is the birthplace of our personal power.
We do not have "control" over others, but our choices do indeed influence outcomes.
When we become more self-aware of our response-abilities we become more masterful at helping things go right.