If something happens which we don’t like, more than often as humans we point ‘out there’. We point a finger at that thing or the “it” that is responsible for the unpleasant experience. I pass the blame, this displaces my unpleasant or painful feeling to something outside of me. I need to remind myself that I am the creator of my own thoughts and the responses to those thoughts, including how I decide to act, react, move or behave. I cannot, no matter how hard I try control the outside world, I am however responsible for my inner world. I am responsible for my happiness, well-being, state of peace or how I love.
During the ‘Up’ times of peace and love claiming personal responsibility can be easy, but I have to also claim personal responsibility when I am going through the ‘Down’ times of peace and love. To accept responsibility that I am in charge of how I now feel can be quite painful, yet the art of choice can make me realise that when I do not take responsibility for what is happening on the inside, I allow the things outside to influence me much more. This is when I may allow the outside world or external people to affect me and ultimately take control over the quality of my experience. I then open myself up to automatic, reactive behaviour to things that are happening around me. If I am just reacting to the outside world, I am not in control of my choices. This leads to toxicity or dysfunction in my inner world and is reflected and in-turn projected into my outside world to start all over again, making my experience self fulfilling.
You don’t get stressed, you do stressed. There can be an external stressor however it can only be sustained stress if we choose for it to stress us over and over and over. We always have a choice!
“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”
When I realise my personal responsibility, I am faced with the challenge of making a decision about how to respond creatively to the things I cannot control. The Art of Choice allows one to step back and find the creative outcomes available.