Perhaps the most difficult concept to grasp and understand is the need to forgive those who have wronged us. It is extremely difficult not to use prior abuse as an excuse for our shortcomings today. Most people believe that forgiveness lets the perpetrator off the hook. In a divine sense, the very opposite is true. When we forgive others for past transgressions we are somehow able to steady ourselves and move on with our lives. The release of the past somehow graciously releases us and puts our lives back into our own hands.
Many people have had a challenging past. This truism is well known to everyone. However, this truth applies to many groups for many different reasons. One central truth is that there have been struggles based purely on race, disability, sexual orientation and economic status, to name a few. Many groups have suffered abuse and disenfranchisement for many reasons, both present, and past. Some might say that they didn’t deserve what happened to them. Some could also say that based upon what has happened it is impossible to move forward and take full responsibility for their own lives. However, none of this is true. On some level, we all know this. It is a well-known fact that life is not fair and that innocent, undeserving people are hurt all the time. The son of an alcoholic father who was abused can still grow up and not abuse alcohol or his children. This is true although he was abused and did not deserve it. It’s clear that the innocent suffer all the time.
However, it’s not enough to feel sorry for ourselves and not take responsibility for our own lives and dreams. Despite any abuse or wrongdoing past or present, we are still responsible for our own lives. This fact is not partial to anyone. We all have a responsibility to take control of our own lives regardless of color, socioeconomic status, disability and past hurts and disappointments. Nothing lets us off the hook. We must own our own lives regardless of what circumstances we come from. Ownership is equal to responsibility.
Blame, quite simply put, is a lack of ownership. If you don’t own something you can’t control it. You are powerless in terms of control. Blame is the act of making other people responsible for your life. It is equal to giving other people control of your life. This concept can be true regardless of who or what situation we choose to blame for our current situation. You are powerless until you put the saddle back on your own horse and become responsible for your own life.
“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
We must understand that taking responsibility for our own lives is actually a gift. The choice and ability to steer puts everything back in your hands. You get to build the life that you truly want. Who else knows and cares for you more than you do? No one. You are the only person worthy of steering your ship, so why put this precious gift in the hands of people, places, and things by blaming people, past or current situations, or things? Once we truly realize what blame is there is no way we will want anything to do with such a self-defeating process.
The beauty of responsibility and acceptance is choice. Choice is tantamount to freedom. What could be better than freedom? The ability to decide what we are going to do with our lives at every street and juncture is truly a gift. Acceptance and responsibility releases us from waiting on people, places, and things to change our lot in life. When we carry our own load by choosing personal responsibility instead of blame we are held back by nothing but ourselves. We refuse to let any circumstance or person determine our next decision by stopping to throw a pity party for ourselves or by playing the blame game. Our fear from a past trauma should not lead us to wear a concealment shirt all the time.
“The power behind taking responsibility for your actions lies in putting an end to negative thought patterns. You no longer dwell on what went wrong or focus on whom you are going to blame. You don’t waste time building roadblocks to your success. Instead, you are set free and can now focus on succeeding.”
The inward battle to take back your life is just the beginning of living a purposeful life. Personal responsibility creates a better world. What you practice you teach. Children learn personal responsibility from parents who practice this moral characteristic. Children also learn from what they see, not what you say. The practice of personal responsibility helps to build a generation of more mindful, self-aware, self self-led individuals.
Life ownership is taking responsibility for every aspect of your life. Giving the gift of choice back to yourself by refusing to blame past events, people, places, or things for anything amiss in your life. It is the simple yet difficult task of speaking inwardly. You may be saying, “I control myself.” ” I am a chooser.” I am not going to let anything past or present determine what I do or how I live my life today.”
Slavery was an institution that lasted 245 years in North America. However, despite the horrific atrocities that were a part of slavery and its’ aftermath, we must go on. We must forge ahead and continue to create a beautiful tomorrow in addition to recognizing the strides that have been made in the wake of the oppression of many different peoples. We owe it to ourselves as a collective people of America. We owe it to themselves to overcome, move on, and transcend the stigma of oppression for future generations as well as present generations.
Freedom is granted by taking steps necessary to transcend the awful historical events of the past and step into a brighter tomorrow by choosing not to blame; by mastering our thoughts. Our thoughts become our deeds and our deeds become our way of life. The releasing of blame sets us free to live the life we truly deserve. Personal responsibility helps us to create authentic lives that reflect who we truly are.