Sunday, July 20, 2008

Personal Responsibility

The Dalai Lama of Tibet speaks often about the theory of Universal Responsibility.

I had a hard time with it at first. Not that I don't agree, however I had spent so many years looking for "The Guru" or "The Answer" and was so disillusioned, that taking responsibility for the situation was just too hard and bitter a pill to swallow.

I was willing to give up my own power and give it to someone else freely. I would seek Chiropractors, Massage Therapists, Doctors and all kinds of other health as well as spiritual solutions. Only to find that they didn't fix me. I spent years being frustrated by not having the solutions available to heal myself in 30 days or less.

Unable to practice some of the basic postures in Yoga was really starting to bother me. Why can't I do the poses I want to do? Why don't I have enough time to find the right teacher? Who is doing this to me? I was a victim and slave to my own thoughts.

I must admit, I don't learn this lesson easily, and quite often I have to revisit the learning. The big lesson here is, "Until I take full and final responsibility for the way my body, mind, and spirit respond to the challenges of the world, I will be giving up the most important part of my life." I may as well be donating my power (and money) to others while relinquishing any possible benefit that I could gain.

All the health care and spiritual guides can be helpful. They can in fact be life saving, but until we take up the reins of our life we will be a slave to whatever resource gives us that benefit.

The Dalai Lama's theory can be explored deeper. Once we can take full responsibility for ourselves, then we can start to pick up responsibility for our families, our communities, and ultimate the entire world. Imagine for a moment the entire world taking charge of their lives and making a difference. Owning the problems instead of seeking someone to blame, a villain to hunt. If I haven't lost you (I hope I haven't) you can see why this is such a profound theory.

You can learn more about this at the Foundation for Universal Responsibility website.

It is a hard concept to bear. The fact that we and we alone are mostly responsible for our current health, wealth, and happiness. Once you make it through that first tough part though, it is the most freeing feeling you can imagine.


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