Complete Responsibility – Not Today, Thank You

To Be Or Not To Be Responsible









Don’t even mention the word.

We’ll not think about it, or acknowledge it.

Sounds like work.

Definitively like no fun whatsoever.

Sounds like it would taste bad.

So there. Let’s just ignore it. Let it be.



(Crickets chirping…)

(Crickets chirping…)

There you go.

You got just what you wanted. Is your life better yet?


Uh-uh. No, no.

I BETCHA there are lashings of involuntary liability-tatters, -fragments and –ragged-ribbons flying around, all over the place.

They are just not called responsibility.

They’re disguised, cleverly, sneakily, as culpability, blame, fault finding, guilt, criticism and censure. Accusations, indignant reproachings.

Not about us, of course.


About everyone else. Surely that’s easy to see.

It. Is. All. Their. Fault.

They are responsible. They are to blame.

“If it weren’t for them, then…if they would only…I can’t help it, they make me so…If they hadn’t…because of this happening…if only that hadn’t happened…when this happens, then I’ll…”

And from each life, these excuses stretch over the horizons and clear across the oceans.


Until one day, if we’re very lucky, a tiny insight pierces our smug, self-righteous shells, sanctimonious and complacent little protected kingdoms.

Ugly words, but that’s exactly what it takes to wake up from our dreams of never-neverland where we just happen to be the best thing since sliced bread.

The thing is: WE are responsible, solely and exclusively, for our own actions, reactions, feelings, emotions, beliefs and thoughts.


Ugg again.

Yes. Sad but true.

(Unless someone has a gun pointed at our heads and is threatening us with it.)

If not, then, yes, so it is.

And then the even worse news: insight and acknowledgment are only the first, tiny steps.

Say what? There’s more?

Oh, a whole lot more.

Listen to this now: it will surely be the most difficult thing we ever have to do in our lives, and it will never be finished.

It’s about conditioning.

Blaming others is so deeply and completely embedded into our psyche, into our upbringing, our belief system, that it takes a whole other lifetime to get rid of these dream stealers.

Because that ‘s what they do: they steal our dreams by letting us slavishly allow others to shape and determine our lives for us. If we blame others, we admit that they are in charge of what we do, what we feel, how we act, what we believe.

Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? But that’s what we do.

All the day long.

We willingly, albeit unknowingly, hand the keys to our best futures to others.

We blame others because it’s easier; we don’t have to think or change.

Change is sooo difficult.

We also do it to protect ourselves.

Pema Chodron puts it like this: “Blaming is a way to protect your heart, trying to protect what is soft and open and tender in yourself. Rather than own that pain, we scramble to find some comfortable ground.” Reaching Under Our Protective Shell Nov 4, 2013 (

Listen: of course we all know that bad things happen, life hands us tough situations, experiences which seriously and completely suck.

And often we have no control over which mishap-missiles are next aimed straight at us.

We have, quite often, no control over what crashes into us.

But we do have control over how we view it, how we’ll act on it, what our perspectives, our beliefs, our interpretations of it, will be.

We can choose: awareness or delusion, blaming or owning, protecting or exposing.

Choosing protection will mean staying stuck in the bad situation forever. Rather pain for a short time while exposing, investigating and solving a situation than staying in the muddy, cold place of safety until the moon falls into the sea. Choose balmy, sunny beaches rather than quagmire.

The coolest thing ever about taking full responsibility is that we get to be in complete charge, of our destiny, and of our choices.

We get to be THE BOSS.


We can decide, tout de suite, to axe all blaming, excuses, procrastinations, bad attitudes and fears. And we can decide, consciously and mindfully, to focus on these things:

  1. Right all wrongs on our parts (oh yes, to say sorry is trè-trè important)
  2. Forgive those who did us wrong (very difficult, I know, but it has to be done)
  3. Choose to be aware in every moment of how we feel, react and do, so that we can course correct whenever we find ourselves on the blaming path again.

This is the truth of it: it will never be perfect.

We’ll have to guard against blaming.

Choose responsibility, for our own lives.


To being in charge, to having the power of choice, to being front and center on our own paths.

Worth. And worthy. And so worth it.

“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.” Ralph Ellison

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