Are We Taking Responsibility For Our Own Lives?

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:

  • Self-inflicted illness, disease, alcohol and drug abuse are pressing Health Services around the world to the verge of bankruptcy, some already bankrupt. (1) (2)
  • Pensions in the future will no longer be paid, Governments will simply not have the source of income to cover the amount needed for ever increasing numbers of seniors, early ill-health retired, sick and disabled. (3)
  • More and more refugees are fleeing from war and poverty,pressing infrastructure and local inhabitants in many countries towards breaking point. Approximately 65 million people are now forcibly displaced from their homes, among them are 21.3 million refugees. (4)
  • According to figures released by Oxfam, in 2015 the richest 62 people in the world owned as much wealth as the poorer half of the world’s population, and the richest 1% of the world’s population owned more wealth that the remaining 99%. (5)

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:

  • Why do we have headlines like “8 million tons of plastic will be dumped into our Oceans this year” (7) and why do we pollute our own planet, poisoning our very own food and drink?
  • Why do we eat and drink substances that contain stimulants, chemicals, toxins and poisons? (8)
  • Why do we take resources from others to enrich ourselves, only to leave the others in dire straits? (5)
  • Why do we engage in violence and hatred of our fellow brothers and sisters? Why are there always wars? Over the last 3400 years only 268 years have been without war. (9)
  • Why do we simply accept all of the above as normal, when we know it to be harmful and untrue?

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?

  • Could it be possible to elect politicians based on the way they take responsibility for themselves, for their voters and for the environment, no longer allowing for the lobbying of national or multi-national conglomerates in their pursuit of profits? For voters themselves to elect responsible candidates, without thought for their own personal gain?
  • Is it possible to employ business leaders based on the responsibility of how they live their lives, how they take care of themselves, their employees and the customers they provide goods and services to? For employees to be responsible for their own health and well-being and feel that this is a responsibility they also have for their leaders and customers; as when we are well, our services maybe more effective/of a higher quality?
  • Is it possible for parents to take more responsibility first and foremost for themselves by deepening their self-care, then to stop and ponder on how they raise their children, so that they are not accepting the way it is now, no longer allowing children to be brought up by institutions, media, gaming, TV, etc.? And, maybe then the children of coming generations would be born and grow up in an atmosphere of that same care, gentleness and harmony allowing them to evolve into the adults they truly are, thus giving birth to a new way of living on our planet, whereby we accept everyone as equal?

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

References:

  1. 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
  2. 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/
  3. 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
  4. UNHCR(The UN Refugee Agency) Figures at a glance, accessed 22 November 2016. http://www.unhcr.org/uk/figures-at-a-glance.html
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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/
  8. 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/
  9. 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

Further Reading:
Energetic Integrity and Energetic Responsibility
Taking Responsibility and Speaking My Truth
Learning Responsibility – It’s a Revelation

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