Is there anyone out there truly taking a deeper look at why we are running marathons; why we sit for hours fishing by the river; why we spend days on end staring at a computer screen or why we stay awake with the help of sugary caffeinated drinks and salt-filled junk food watching sporting events on TV – or even reading a thrilling book?
The list is endless. Is this just simply filling in time, a bit of fun, a social outlet – or is it something more than that? Are not all these pastimes ways of distraction to not feel our predicament and ways of checking out from who we are and what life is truly about?
Some people may react, deny and even aggressively contest the validity of raising these questions, but that’s okay as the amazing thing is that we all know deep inside that these reactions may well be indicative of the problem we are living with in our world today – one where we are not taking complete responsibility for our own lives, and our own health and well-being.
For instance, when something goes wrong like an injury, illness or disease, we can blame it on someone or something external to ourselves, even blaming it on chance, fate or luck, when the truth is that we have and make all our own choices. And so the blame then becomes another avoidance of taking responsibility. By reacting in this way, are we not simply confirming that we are living irresponsibly, adding fuel to the already out-of-control, raging forest fire of irresponsibility that we are all part of?
I thought that taking responsibility would be simple, it was just to do it… stop eating junk food, stop drinking beer and alcohol, stop watching sports etc., all the pastimes that I loved, or thought I loved, and all the other stuff we generally do to amuse ourselves. The trouble is amusement, entertainment, pastimes and hobbies are all the embodiment of irresponsibility and as I removed these, the real meaning of responsibility was uncovered, and it was much, much more than I ever realised.
Well, it was easy to start with, and it felt great, my body was lighter and slimmer, I slept much better, there were a few small cravings and some things took longer to give up than others (I was really hooked on salted crisps!). But then there came a point when I began to look at the way I lived, my thought patterns, my ingrained behaviours, remarks and responses, my attitude towards others.
Though quite shy and introverted, I have always thought of myself as open-minded, non-discriminating, liberal, unprejudiced, magnanimous, and benevolent: herein though lies the problem – what we think we are and what we truly are can be completely different, and it takes responsibility to accept this and to open the path to the truth.
It has been a strange journey so far… the more responsible I become, the more irresponsible I realise that I am. The more I change this, the more I sense a resistance in my body, at the same time knowing that I cannot turn back and return to more irresponsibility as I know that would be so self-destructive as the particles of my body now expect so much more from me, and rightly so.
Feeling a true response from our body and our responsibility in any given situation, rather than reacting emotionally, may be the way forward out of the chaotic mess mankind has gotten itself into.
For example, I thought that as a man I was very gentle, tender and respectful to women, but recently through looking deeper into my way of being I have realised that although true on one level, there lies deeper an arrogance and disrespect for women that I have to deal with. This realisation was devastating and it brought me to tears as never could I have imagined myself that I have these attitudes, but only by taking responsibility for this and looking at the true cause can I clear this from my body. Why do I look at women the way I do, why do I objectify, why do I consider them lesser and why do I judge?
It was so hard to admit that this was within me and I discovered that it all comes down to feeling inadequate, having self-judgement and a lack of appreciation for myself, and to cover up for that I ‘blame’ women. It’s just a pathetic excuse to avoid being the full man I am, admitting and embodying all I can be. Why should I be afraid of that?
As a collective, how can we change our response if we have spent our lives creating ingrained reactions and behaviours that cover up and hide the undealt with hurts we carry inside, which in turn fester and grow, ultimately causing ill-health, illness and disease, just adding to the gargantuan mess we are in?
If we look at this insight into the mess we are in:
It is a fact that almost 30% of the world’s population is now overweight or obese (6)… we may ask ourselves, how did it get this way? And we may ask “why is it that we don’t take responsibility for our own lives?” Why are we living in or with some form of self-abuse and disregard? And in this, are we so habitually abusive to ourselves that we don’t even recognise it as self-abuse anymore?
Has self-abuse become normal?
If we explore this further, we might also ask:
In truth, does this not seem as though we are checking out of our own lives, simply dismissing what is going on around us? In this are we not avoiding being who we truly are, avoiding returning to our true essence?
The amazing thing is that when we are consciously present and connected to our inner-most essence we are actually harmonious and full of joy, and responsibility is a natural way of living.
If we then focused more upon this natural way of living, maybe we could regain what ‘normal’ truly is, i.e. being continuously consciously present within our bodies, deeply connected to ourselves in everything we do?
And if we were to take a closer look, to explore, to observe, to open up our innate curiosity, or swallow our pride, maybe we would lovingly admit to the things that don’t feel true to us and embark upon a new beginning, and thus, in this, embrace the fact that we have been living in irresponsibility.
Could it be that responsibility is the way forward?
If this is so, could it be possible for mankind to heal the hurts and atrocities on earth by taking responsibility for everything we do, every intention we have, our every thought, word and action that everyone will be here in service for humanity, for each other, thus guiding mankind out of the quagmire of suffering that we find ourselves in? And if so, what might it look like?
And if this is so, could there be a way of living responsibly as a true brotherhood, the brotherhood that mankind is truly here to be – founded in self-care, responsibility and truth?
I now know that each time I do this for myself and step through these self-imposed, ingrained barriers, painful as they may be, I become more of the true man I am meant to be – and as I overcome each obstacle I am filled with love, joy, stillness and harmony.
By Christopher Murphy, London
- How alcohol causes cancer, Cancer research UK, accessed 22 November 2016. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/alcohol-and-cancer/how-alcohol-causes-cancer
- Get serious about Obesity or bankrupt the NHS, Simon Stevens, Chief Executive, NHS England, accessed 22 November 2016. https://www.england.nhs.uk/2014/09/serious-about-obesity/
- Can the UK afford to pay pensions?, Intergenerational Foundation, accessed 22 November 2016. http://www.if.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Can-the-UK-Afford-to-Pay-Pensions.pdf
- UNHCR(The UN Refugee Agency) Figures at a glance, accessed 22 November 2016. http://www.unhcr.org/uk/figures-at-a-glance.html
- Oxfam, The number of Billionaires that own the same wealth as half the world, accessed 22 November 2016. http://www.oxfam.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2016/01/62-people-own-same-as-half-world-says-oxfam-inequality-report-davos-world-economic-forum
- IHME, Institute of Heath Metrics and Evaluation, One Third of the World’s Population Obese or Overweight, accessed 22 November 2016. http://www.healthdata.org/news-release/nearly-one-third-world’s-population-obese-or-overweight-new-data-show
- National Geographic, 8 million Tons of plastic dumped in the Ocean every year, accessed 22 November 2016. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/02/150212-ocean-debris-plastic-garbage-patches-science/
- Seattle Organic Restaurants, Top Ten Toxic Foods and Additives, accessed 22 November 2016. http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-foods/top-10-toxic-foods-preservatives-additives/
- The New York Times, What every Person should know about War, accessed 22 November 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/06/books/chapters/what-every-person-should-know-about-war.html
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720 thoughts on “Are We Taking Responsibility For Our Own Lives?”
I can recall the days where I would go on daily runs, and yet undone it by the weekend with eating, drinking, smoking and late nights. Thinking I was a healthy person and it turned out to be the opposite.
The abuse is everywhere and around us, there is no escaping and if anything, it is seen as being the norm.
It is only when we start being responsible for our selves, that we realise many things. This then becomes a reflection to others to either accept or reject it. And at the end of the day it is their responsibility too.
Over the years I’ve learnt more and more about responsibility and it is far from perfect, but I know I live my life more differently to how I used to live. And I know that I would never go back to how I used to live. I feel I have a responsibility to others, whether they accept it or not, is their choice too. In the meantime I continue learning more and more about myself and how the whole of life works.
This is a great question for us to ponder on, if we keep our hurts buried, and so active, how can we be responsible and more loving in this world, ‘ how can we change our response if we have spent our lives creating ingrained reactions and behaviours that cover up and hide the undealt with hurts we carry inside, which in turn fester and grow, ultimately causing ill-health, illness and disease, just adding to the gargantuan mess we are in?’
I agree burying things inside, just harbours it and it explodes from time to time. We have a responsibility for one another, so why not you first, and reflect to others, there is another way.
Responsibility is not a drudge, it is to be and live all the love and magnificence that we are.
A true king and a true Son of God, lives and breathes responsibility. We were born this way, so why do we resist it so and have such a history of resistance as humanity to the throne we crave to re-cliam?
Once we clock a certain level of responsibility, then there is no turning back so to speak – we cannot undo what we know …but we can re-interpret it or deny it or pretend to forget it. Deep down we know that in reality this is futile for at some point we will be faced with it and at some point will be looking at embracing this in our lives. Responsibility is the bridge to God and our own divinity.
Thank you Christopher for your sharing – in one part of your blog you talked about how the more responsible you get the more you realise how more responsibility there is to live. And this is often how I have exprienced life in terms of the more I learn the more I realise how much more there is to learn. This openness is what allows us to to explore life more and hence then choose to live it all or as much as we can in increments at least as we build up to the all.
Being responsible for our relationships is super important and, at the very least, we should be showing everyone decency and respect.
Christopher, your willingness to look more deeply at your attitudes towards women is inspiring and is something that we could all learn from. However much we have truly healed in regard to our relationships with both men and women has to be acknowledged and appreciated, but there are always deeper levels for us to look at and to heal.
If we want the world to change we must begin to take responsibility for our own lives, pointing the finger and blaming others doesn’t work and keeps us stuck in the mud, the only true way out of the mess we have created is to begin to live responsibly and to feel how empowering and freeing that choice is.
Absolutely Anna, and when we point out there are three fingers pointing back at us, and those fingers could be saying to us treat everyone with decency and respect as a minimum responsibility.
Living and being how we would like the world to be, so reflecting that livingness for another to see and feel.
“what we think we are and what we truly are can be completely different” – this is why I have not put a lot of trust in some market research or focus groups because what people say/think they are/want to be like and how they actually live/are can be vastly different. And often people aren’t consciously aware of the difference.
Thinking who we are and what we truly are can certainly be polar opposites so in effect when we do this we are living a lie and often very convincingly so to ourselves and those around us. But to become aware of this means we then have choice to change this and live a truth instead.
Its a fact that we like to retreat – we like the time off or the moment to just stop. I’ve noticed how we can even use being busy to not be truly doing what is needed. But the more we have true purpose in our lives, the more i see the bigger picture, the less there is the space to go watch movies or scan through social media. I know the importance of responding to what is needed in each moment.
People like time out, for themselves, but have we ever pondered deeply why we feel we need that, ‘Are not all these pastimes ways of distraction to not feel our predicament and ways of checking out from who we are and what life is truly about?’
Everything we have lived we carry in our bodies and it’s only when we truly feel and see how we’ve been and understand it that we can let it go, and by doing so we return to our naturally responsible way.
Love what you have share here Monica – for it is about shedding what we do not need to carry so that we can live who we are. This is the utmost responsibility.
Returning to our magnificence involves us discarding what is not true, what is not love, ‘only by taking responsibility for this and looking at the true cause can I clear this from my body.’