Rigorous Personal Responsibility means being accountable for what is within my realm of responsibility, and not “taking over” anything which is outside of my realm of responsibility. I am responsible to consciously know and then manage my perceptions, my thoughts, my feelings, my reactions, my choices, and my actions / behaviors. I am not responsible for the emotions, reactions, perceptions or behaviors of other adults. Holding myself accountable to my commitments and for my mistakes, learning experiences, etc. matures my soul, frees me from shame, selfishness and lust, and opens me to the ability to love self and others.
Being personally responsible means I manage and account (to self, others and God) in the following areas:
Every moment, information is entering through our senses. Every sensation, every experience, every moment, generates information that must be processed. Throughout our lives, we develop patterns for interpreting this information, based on our past experiences, the beliefs we hold, and our shame. Personal responsibility means we become conscious of, and responsible for, our interpretations (or perceptions) of reality. These perceptions form the basis of all our conscious thinking. If we choose to, we can identify and change our faulty or untrue or outdated perceptions and perceptive patterns. Doing so is a very personally responsible (and very loving) act.
Thoughts & Feelings
Our thoughts come from either our unconscious perceptions, or from our conscious choices to think in particular ways. Our attitudes, or the patterns of thought we engage, determine our behaviors and even our life outcomes. We are accountable for our choices to think selfishly or generously; powerfully or in disempowered manners; proactively or reactively; as one who acts or as one who is acted upon by circumstances and other people. We can choose our thoughts, and we are responsible to do so and to accept the consequences of the thoughts and attitudes we choose.
Thoughts create emotions and feelings. Fear, anger, arousal, joy, elation, sadness, and so forth all spring from our perceptions, our core beliefs and our thoughts. Managing and being responsible for thoughts and emotions matures our souls and gives us self-control and great personal power.
Choices & Behaviors
Each of us is culpable for the choices we make and the behaviors we choose to perform. We always have choice regarding how we will behave and respond to our environment / circumstances. We can choose proactive, powerful behaviors, or we can “go with the flow” and react to every situation without consciously weighing alternatives. Either way, we have chosen our behaviors, and therefore we have chosen our outcomes.
Every choice produces an outcome. When we make choices, it is not possible to know what all of the possible outcomes will be. However, it is still our responsibility to accept those outcomes as the “offspring” or consequences of the choice we have made. When we refuse to accept consequences of our actions, we blame them on others or use other denial strategies to deflect the parts of reality we don’t “like.” Therefore, we can’t hear what the outcomes are trying to teach us. When we do this, we become vulnerable to shame. However, when we accept and respond to consequences without fear and with an attitude of humble responsibility and ownership, every experience and every choice become potent learning experiences. We quickly become spiritually and emotionally mature and centered, and we open ourselves to peace and joy.