In each and every moment, you cannot be a victim of what you see, and nothing is outside of you. What you experience, you have directly and deliberately called to yourself. If you hold the thought, “I do not like what I have called to myself,” that is perfectly fine…Merely look with the wonder of a child, and see what it feels like, and ask yourself, “Is this an energy I wish to continue in, or would I choose something else? -Jeshua, The Way of Mastery
When I was first exposed to this idea, through A Course in Miracles, I felt a lot of resistance. “What do you mean, I’m responsible for what I see?!?” I protested. “I certainly didn’t ask for the emotional abuse I experienced in my first serious relationship. I didn’t send a request to the universe, asking for a neck injury. I didn’t put in my order for an unbridgeable rift between me and my father.”
I wanted to push these painful experiences away. I wanted to dis-identify with them. I wanted to believe that these things just happened to me, but they weren’t connected to something within me.
I know I’m not alone in having this kind of reaction to the spiritual principle of “taking responsibility”. I’ve seen many spiritual seekers struggle with, and reject, this idea. The reason why it is so difficult to accept is because, when we’re first introduced to the idea that we’re responsible for what we see, the following thoughts tend to arise:
- If I’m responsible, then I lose the option of seeing myself as a victim. I cannot project blame outside of me.
- If I’m responsible, then somehow I’m guilty…guilty of creating these distressing experiences. That leads to a downward spiral of self-blame. People often ask, “Why did I create that?” with a tone of self-condemnation.
Please, don’t go down that spiral. Instead, let’s take a few steps back. Before we can gently and graciously accept responsibility, we must stand firmly rooted in the awareness of our innocence. At times, we all make mistakes. We all act from unconscious patterns. We all let fear guide many of our choices. Yet our True Nature is innocence. Our True Nature is love. Our True Nature is beyond the personality, and even beyond the soul.
Take a few moments and let yourself rest into that feeling of your innocence. Let your awareness expand, out, beyond your body and your personality. Identify with the fullness and spaciousness of your True Nature.
Breathe in the love that is your very Being. You are perfect, whole, and complete. You are loved and loving.
Now that you’re rooted into who you really are, let’s take another look at the idea that you’re responsible for what you see. I encourage you to look at this from the perspective of the soul’s evolution: We each come into this incarnation with old baggage, old conditioning, which the soul carries as an energetic imprint. You might call it a “pattern” or a “vibration”. This energetic pattern attracts to itself relationships and situations that are in resonance with it. Mostly, this happens on an unconscious, energetic level. We do not consciously think, “I want to have painful and distressing experiences.”
What drives this process is not so much our thoughts, nor our behaviors. It comes from a much deeper place. Our unsavory experiences reflect aspects of the old, stuck patterns and false beliefs we’ve brought in, on a soul level. The good news is, we’re not doomed to eternal repetition of these patterns. Taking responsibility, by seeing that what we’re experiencing is a reflection of our own soul patterns, is what gives us the power to choose again…to choose for something different.
The evolutionary purpose of this reflective process is to show us where we’re still stuck, so we can disentangle ourselves. Our undesirable manifestations are there to show us what we don’t want to keep repeating. We get to see what we’ve believed, which isn’t really true, so we can let the false beliefs go. Our experiences serve as a mirror to what’s going on within our own unconscious, including the things in the shadow, that we do not want to see.
When we know we’re basically innocent, when there is no investment in either guilt or blame, it is empowering to take responsibility for our own experience. When the old patterns are seen through, as mere shadows from our conditioning, we realize they have no power to hold us back. Then we can let them go, and choose again.
And don’t forget, you’re responsible for all the cool stuff you see in your life, too!
Please leave me a comment, and let me know how this lands for you. Do you feel resistance? Empowerment? Bewilderment?