Oft times, people dismiss the negative, because it is too painful for them to face. However, Charles Darwin believed there was great knowledge in what opposed his theories. He tended to write down everything, noting that there is an emotional prejudice which might keep him from remembering. It is very similar to the old saying, particularly with romantic relationships, ‘you only remember the good times, not the bad.’ Sometimes, it is reverse, but the point is still the same: one side is remembered, one is not. Both are needed though. When a person is forced to accept responsibility, for both the good and the bad, a majority of people cannot and will not accept responsibility, instead they find fault with something external. Most individuals will place blame on an external force for the cause of their misery; however, it is usually the individual’s actions which initiated the ‘bad times.’ (again, the reverse as well, you have to have both)
This is actually a habit I have been developing for the last few years. The wiccans call it the threefold law, Buddhists call it karma, but in essence, these are all the same ideas: accepting responsibility for all of your actions, good and bad, and the consequences that follow, because it will always come back to you. By accepting that my actions, consciously or sub-consciously, are my sole responsibility, eliminate the bias that emotions create. I remove the emotional attachment and I can see things for how they truly are. It allows me to change my perception and accept without prejudice or preconceptions. I become the master of my fate and keep my power, instead of giving it to others through emotion. There is no bias anymore. I do not and cannot project misconceptions or behaviors I believe are appropriate on anyone else, because I see things with a new view. I see how I participate in my life, in this world, and can respond appropriately and with calm.
There is much to learn from this golden rule:
- By accepting responsibility for only your actions, you come to understand that any action taken against you is not of your control. It is a reflection of the other person’s attitude. You are only responsible for your words and actions. How others respond to that is their responsibility. (obviously this doesn’t mean being mean to everyone, you should approach with compassion and kindness, because whatever you do put out into the world, it will come back to you. This is why you must accept responsibility for your actions, so you can see what situations you put yourself into).
- Once you accept that another person’s actions are not your responsibility to hold, you become free of the emotions that normally you would bind to them. In a sense, when you accept responsibility for another’s emotions/reactions/behaviors, you are no longer in control of yourself. They have the power. It should be yours. You should be in control of your self at all times.
- Essentially you are free from worry, guilt, etc. because you know that it is not you. You approach with kindness and compassion, there is no guilt or worry. It’s just not an issue.
- You begin to see people for who they really are. This may be difficult, you may lose friends, but you will gain so much more.
- You realize there is no sense in trying to change them. They are not you. You are not responsible for them. You have no power over them to change them.
- You can walk through life without preconceived notions, and are open to everything that can be, not what you think will be.
Had I not attempted to accept both the good and the bad, I would have never been able to reach a higher level of enlightenment. I still struggle. I still fall down. I was this way with my writing. I allowed other’s opinions of my work to hinder me. It had power over me and it controlled me. I didn’t think I could do anything. I would never get published. But I see that, because of their words, I stayed within that negativity and never explored the positivity of my talent. I never allowed myself to think: hey, I am pretty good. Maybe they are wrong. Instead I believed them.
And I suffered.
But then I saw my mistake. They are allowed their opinions. I’m allowed mine. They conflict, but I’m not willing to give up. Because I believe in my talent. After comparing the notes, I take responsibility for my talent and decided to believe. It’s important to get back up and accept responsibility. If I would have kept my bias and ignored that which I wanted to avoid (emotionally, mentally or physically), I would have gone through life blind to the wonders that surround; for with bias comes fear and avoidance. There’s too much in life to avoid. Way too much in life and I’m tired of avoiding it.