The cause & effect of messes
Transformative energies have been very active recently, on the planetary scale, and that always brings an outburst of reflections on the more personal and local scale. It’s been getting pretty weird out there this past week. I’ve seen a parent want to cancel to her long-planned vacation because of fear that her adult son would not remember to take his vitamins and medications while she was away. A company blaming a software provider because the company delayed three months to submit a document, and missed a legal deadline. A teenager seeing four doctors to investigate why he is getting poor grades from not submitting homework assignments. Many more.
Lots of confrontations and messes are cropping up in people’s lives as aspects of planetary reality begin to shift more dramatically. I’ve been reflecting on these stories from my clients and friends. In all of them, I’ve seen a glistening common thread — a crisis of accountability.
I would like to offer insight into a higher form of accountability because there is a lot of confusion about fault and blame in religion, New Age spirituality, and contemporary society. When you are faced with dealing with personal (and planetary) “messes” that seem to abound, what is the difference between blame, judgement, and responsibility? How do you navigate to a place of empowerment and wholeness?
Seeing into the core: fear of blame
For starters, this is not an abstract moral issue. It is really hard to transform circumstances, change thought patterns, or even just physically repair something if you don’t deal with the root cause of the “issue.” If you want to be effective in your life, you will find considerable (untapped) transformative potential and empowerment by looking closely into the causes and effects of situations. My goal here is to help you see more clearly and deeply!
How you perceive situations is key to responding to them. People often have a strong (sub)conscious compulsion to avoid examining, or ignore, the true core of situations or problems. Why? They are usually trying to protect themselves from “blame” or “responsibility.” The result? Ever increasing efforts to chase external or peripheral causes — draining life force and time — which expands the scope of the problem rather than focusing coherently into creating the actual path of resolution.
Unfortunately, in this way, you can be busy for a long time and accomplish relatively little.
The core of the pattern that I’ve observed in the recent situations appears to be this: it has become socially unacceptable to point out that a “mess” has been created by someone not fulfilling their own life responsibilities. Instead, the attention and quest for resolution is redirected at someone or something else: teachers, doctors, salespeople, software, medical conditions, spouses, etc.
It’s a particularly sad situation because the person or group of people most central to the “mess” — and experiencing the effects of it — are being disempowered from changing their situation. As long as you have the belief that someone else caused your “problem,” then there’s nothing you can do other than wait, hope, or demand that the third party do something about it. I consider that a rather debilitating place to be. It’s handing authority over your life to someone or something else.
But then, doesn’t that mean you are “at fault” or are forced to “accept blame”? That potential brings up a lot of fear or anger, doesn’t it? Impending punishment or adverse effects? This (often deeply held) charge can be a powerful motivation to disconnect your self-empowerment and distract yourself with external paths of resolution.
What is the empowering alternative?
Going beyond polarity and judgement
As in all aspects of making choices to go forward, discernment is the first step.
First, what is judgement? A judgement exists in relation to a set of ideas, expectations, or values. These can be explicit or subconscious. In other words, something (or someone) can only be “bad” or “good” in relation to a set of values or expectations. For example, you are “pretty” or “ugly” compared to some standard; grades in school are based on a numerical scale that someone assigns. Inherently, there’s nothing “bad” about having comparative value — as long as you recognize that you have created, or are using someone else’s, value system.
The conundrum generally arises when there is a belief system that a particular set of values is ultimately correct, absolute, or the standard for all beings (even if they have nog agreed to be part of the system). That claim to authority creates the (often invisible) “hammer of judgement” that we fear and try to avoid. In this situation, there has been a shift from “comparative” value to “absolute” value. When you accept the mandate of absolute value, you can be locked into serving that system of expectations, consciously or subconsciously.
The evolution of your awareness requires thoughtfulness and nuance in order to expand insight to your subtle belief systems and orient from a reference point of inherent wholeness in all contexts. Blanket beliefs and anchored expectations create a lot of polarity and internal/external strife– sharp lines of opposition with insistence on who or what is “good” and “bad,” or “right” or “wrong.”
However, there’s no need to live in polarity. In fact, I would say it is fairly essential to transcend polarity if you would like to experience a life of peace, expansiveness, and high vibrational connection. The polarities emerging from demands, requirements, and intolerance generate (personal and cultural) disconnects rather than pathways of resolution and inter-connectedness.
From accepting blame to accepting responsibility
Blame is the offspring of judgment — an emotionally charged condemnation of thoughts, actions, or even just existing. It doesn’t really accomplish much other than push off energy onto someone or something else. And unless they have been undermined or trained to accept blame, the recipients generally balk at being blamed for something. More opposition, more conflict, more stagnation in the situation.
Alternatively, outside of the judgement-blame matrix, is accepting responsibility for actions, commitments, and/or your role in a situation. A “situation” could be discretely outlined and temporary, or it could be as big as your entire life history. Scale doesn’t matter here.
When you look closely at the word “responsibility,” it breaks down into “ability to respond.”
That is very different than “required to act” or “at fault.” You have a choice. You have sovereignty in any situation. You have the ability to respond, however you choose, including non-participation in an energy flow or event. Ultimately, no one and nothing compels you other than you own free will choice. (Recognizing, also, that you might have made a prior choice of commitment that does necessitate your involvement or action at given time, legally or ethically.)
Conscious choice of responsibility is a radical departure from creating or evading demands, expectations, and corresponding blame.
Liberation, empowerment, and self-responsibility
Liberating yourself from blame and judgement carries BOTH the empowerment of choice — AND accepting the consequences for your actions. You may co-create and be co-responsible, but, still, ultimately, you have responsibility for being in the relationship of co-creation with another. Co-creation of a situation isn’t a backdoor out of self-responsibility and consequences.
At its heart, self-responsibility is neutral (no blame or expectation). In this way, I see responsibility as a description of a circumstance, not an interpretation or demand, implicitly or explicitly. Others can interweave intentions of coercion or manipulation to influence your choices and actions, but unconditional self-responsibility does not inherently contain ANYTHING other than self-empowerment to create choices and responses.
Furthermore, self-responsible beings generally have compassion and understanding for each other, at least in a conscious and caring relationship. They accept and understand imperfections and mistakes, and seek to elevate the entire situation and empower everyone to improve the circumstance. Self-responsibility is NOT arrogant independence by any means — in fact, true self-responsibility empowers deep community, co-operation, trust, and mutual support. In contrast, paradigms of judgment, blame, and punishment favor conflicts, hostility, avoidance, and manipulation.
Self-responsibility is not meant to be isolating either. You can request help and input from others while still taking responsibility for the situation, decisions, and outcomes that you have influenced, supported, or created. That’s a very different place than believing that someone else needs to create or give you the solution.
Life does not need to be filled with messes and others’ reactions. There is great freedom and potential outside of the circle of judgement and blame — if you choose to step outside of this system and step into self-responsibility. You can create your own solutions and align the needed energies and support to make them happen. You can transcend extraction, dependence, and entrapment. Standing in this place, self-responsibility is a very powerful place to be, a gift of your soul sovereignty and free will.