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Bliss begins when you take responsibility over your doing

Unsplash - Bliss

When I was around 15 years old, my mother took me to a natural therapist for who I have a lot of respect nowadays. I was highly addicted to drugs at the time and the therapist aid me in starting to distance myself from them. Today I know that she actually helped me with so much more than that. Back then, she gave me a postcard with the above words from this post's title: "Bliss begins when you take responsibility over your doing". It took me 27 years to understand.

Whenever I felt bad, stuck or somewhat hindered in my life, these words came to my mind, and I couldn't get it. I mean, what does it mean "when you take responsibility over your doing"? I was responsible. I took care as best I could of my family and friends. I always strived to be a fair person. I paid attention to respect nature whenever possible. Went to work to earn money for myself and my family. Of course I didn't always succeed, but I don't think that it means to be perfect in whatever we're doing. The final question, however, remained as an empty space waiting to be filled. What am I missing?

I first understood it a little more since 2021 when I discovered that indeed I tried to be as responsible as I could by the best of my knowledge. But I didn't include myself into it. Perhaps or not, you can relate to the following sentence: "As long as you're happy, I am as well". This perfectly describes the way I lived. Of course, living that way, we are blind to see the entire picture. After all, it seems so noble, right? Although it was a huge process for me personally to understand that taking responsibility for myself has nothing in common with ego. Giving value to yourself and acting accordingly is in fact a requirement so that you're able to take care of others effectively.

Now, in 2023, I see that what I thought I knew was only the tip of the iceberg. Taking responsibility over your doing includes taking care of yourself, your needs, staying true to your values and act accordingly. Now I go one step further. Your doing also includes your emotional state. What you experience. Not "what", but how you experience whatever happens to you. This took much longer than realizing that I'm a valuable person and worth to take care of.

Why? Because, how can I be responsible for things that happen to me in my life? Getting my mind around this wasn't easy. So I try to explain this by asking other questions. First of all, of course, we're not responsible for what happens to us. But we are responsible for how we experience it.

Taking the example of someone very close to me who struggles with anger whenever she feels unfairly treated. I mean, we all did or still do struggle with unfairness. But I want to take a concrete example. First of all, fair and unfair is something that goes down to common sense, but at the end it is more about what we have been taught to be fair or unfair. We often say: "This person really has no common sense". But that's relative. Just to say that this might differ from person to person. It's not for everyone the same perception or judgment.

Anyway, let's imagine her boss values other team members more that herself and this also manifests in his doing. He assigns the "more valuable" tasks to others, and she only gets those that seems to be rewardless. She suffers a lot under these circumstances, and I'm pretty sure everyone can relate and has faced similar situations before or is facing right now.

Ok, but how can she take responsibility over someone else's doing? Short answer, she can't. Of course not. This is something happening to her she can't control. It's simply happening, like the weather. Our unconscious reaction obviously emerged from the feeling of being treated unfairly, for her, results in anger and is tortured with thoughts full of vengeance, that she is submitted to with no chance to get away from it or to calm down. Sometimes it takes over a half a day or even a day until she's able to rest and most of the time only because she has no energy left. It is normal that we hold that person responsible for what he or she did to us and the suffering we're submitted to. After all, that person did something to us. We haven't.

Why is it an illusion to hold someone responsible for something he or she did to us? Well, we can hold on to this person being responsible for what he or she did. But does it change anything to the situation we're experiencing? Can we force this person to feel responsible? No we can't and no it doesn't change anything. On the other hand, how can we hold this person responsible for our emotional state, for the anger, our torturing thoughts that come with it? Can this person change anything to how we feel and how we manage it within ourselves? No he or she can't. If this person is conscious enough about his or her doing, he or she might come to you and apologizes, or not. That's the responsibility of this person. Of course this might help you to regulate your emotions. But you cannot force him or her to do so.

You might think: "Ok, yes. But still it's so unfair!". Yes it is if it is for you! You're right. But let me ask you this: "Do you think it's fair that you let yourself suffer?". You might say, no, but I have no control over it. And this is the point where "taking responsibility over your doing" kicks in. Yes, at the moment you have no control. You're driven by your unconscious mind based on the things you learned, triggering destructive reactions. You want this person to suffer the same as you do, so that he or she eventually recognizes that he or she was wrong. Remember, I wrote already in another post about the circle of thoughts and emotions. I think I will write one dedicated to it, since it definitely helps a lot to better understand ourselves. Imagine that you would have grown up in a culture, wherein you would have learned how to take care and handle your emotions and to consider every being part as one instead of every being is an individual and needs to fight for its position in life. Just to say that, even if it's hardly imaginable right now. It all comes down to what we learned. And what we learned can be changed. It's your responsibility.

Short recap:

Life is full of happenings. No matter if it's nature like the weather who changes suddenly or if it's another person having done or said something to which we react. It doesn't matter what or who has triggered a "happening" if you want.

Taking responsibility is only possible to things you can control. You can not take responsibility over something you don't control, nor can you hold someone responsible for something he/she can't control. In the example above, one treats another in an unfair way. But here it's worth taking a closer look on how responsibility is shared. The one who does the action is responsible for his doing. Means that he or she is responsible for the consequences. But the consequences for him or her are not the way the unfairly treated person feels. His or her consequence in that case, is that the relationship to this person will very likely break. If he or she notices the unfair behavior and has enough empathy and worth to him / her, can open a conversation to apologize. It doesn't matter if this happens or not. It will certainly help the unfair treated person to regulate his / her emotional state if he or she does apologize. But the responsibility of the emotional state belongs to the unfair treated person itself. He or she is in control to record the action as a threat or not.

This, of course, doesn't work immediately just because you tell yourself, no, I don't want to record it as a threat. It needs training. Every time you notice how you react emotionally to something. It becomes conscious. And the more conscious you get. The less unconscious reactions will happen and thus, the more inner freedom will take place.

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