Are you responsible? That is a pretty broad question. One of the first questions that comes to mind is, “responsible for what?” And I think that is the question. I have been pondering the question of responsibility a fair bit this week. So, let’s start simply. Are you responsible for your actions? If somebody yells at you for no perceived reason, and you yell back at them, are you responsible for your yelling at them?

Ok, I know that I said that I would start simply and I know that many of you, me included, would have a hard time not yelling back at the person that yelled at me and I might have a hard time taking responsibility for yelling back at them. I mean, what if they called me something bad. Don’t I have the right to yell back at them? They started it, didn’t they? I am just meeting them where they are. They are yelling. So, I am justified in yelling back at them.

Let’s step back for a moment, because I do not know about you, but as I am writing and justifying my yelling at the other person, I can feel the rage building in me and I am surprised that I am not yelling at everybody next to me right now. For me, I am going to close my eyes for a moment and take a breath and really just feel the breath come in and as it goes out, I am feeling the release of the anger about somebody yelling at me.

Yes, it is hard not to yell back at the person, who is yelling at you. I can feel that building in me at I was thinking about it and trying to justify why I might be ok with yelling back at them. In justifying, I think that I also have found that I have a choice. I have a choice to yell back or not, and knowing that I have the choice means that I am responsible for the actions that I take. I am responsible for yelling back, or not yelling back, no mater what they are yelling at me about. Them yelling at me does not take my choice away. Them yelling at me may make me think that I do not have a choice, but I do have a choice, whether I take that choice consciously or not.

So, how does that make you feel? Think about a time when somebody yelled at you and you yelled back. In that moment, did you feel that you had a choice? If you did not feel you had a choice at the time, looking back at the situation, did you really have a choice? Could you have chosen a different action? Look, I am not trying to make your yelling wrong. Maybe that was the best answer in the situation, but knowing you had a choice makes you responsible for that action.

So, are you responsible?

In the beginning, I said I was going to start simply and it is easier for me to be responsible for something that I did, my actions, but let’s turn it up for a moment. I have been exposed to ho’oponopono and my exposure was around the healing saying, “I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.” I learned that when you have an upset with somebody, repeat the saying until the feelings about the upset are gone. It sounds pretty simple and I have had positive experiences with the saying.

This week, I started reading a book by Dr. Joe Vitale called “Zero Limits”. The book is about his experience is learning about ho’oponopono. His experiences start with him hearing the story of a doctor who healed all the patients in a mental facility without every meeting or talking to any of them. When Joe finally met the doctor, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, he learned the doctor just healed what was in him to heal the patients. Dr Len believes that no mater what happens, we are responsible. If somebody is angry at you, there is something in you that needs to be healed.

As I am reading “Zero Limits”, my mind is being stretched and I am not certain where it is going. I am starting simple. If there is somebody that I do not get along with, instead of thinking they are a jerk, I am starting to think, “what needs to be healed in me?” I am not always getting an answer, but I sit with the thought and then repeat, “I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.” A few times and then I let it go.

I am not certain where this is going, but it has expanded my thoughts about responsibility. I am looking at the people around me and how they act and asking, “what needs to be healed in me?” It is an interesting experience, but I do not have any life changing examples to share yet, but I am going to keep exploring.

Do you have any such experiences? Do you believe that you are responsible for how people treat you? I am starting to believe that I am and starting to take that control back. I know there is a lot for me to heal before I really feel that I have that choice in how people treat me, but I am getting there.

Now, based on what I have read in “Zero Limits”, we are responsible for everything in our life. Which means, if there is a war, we are responsible for the war. I know that is a big thought for me right now and I am not quite ready to feel responsible for a war on the other side of the world, but I am open to the possibility. I think that my mind needs to stretch some more before I can believe that. Right now, thinking that I am responsible for a war feels very heavy for me and a burden. Maybe it should be a burden, and I also know that I am not quite the person that I need to be to take on that burden at this time. For now, I will just pray and send love for a resolution to the issues.

Getting back to our initial question, “are you responsible?” Has anything that I said made you think about what you consider to be your responsibilities? Have I expanded your view of what you are responsible for? I hope that I have.

If you have any questions, or would like some help with your understanding of responsibility, let me know. Drop me a note below in the comments and we can have a conversation.