A Course in Miracles Blog

Take responsibility for what you are experiencing

  • By Paul West
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  • 2109 Words
  • 10 minutes 32 seconds
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When you're having an emotional reaction to anything, you usually believe it's because something outside of you is causing it.

But more accurately, you previously created a self condemnation within yourself and this is rising to the surface of your awareness. It's like a bruise which it *seems* like someone else is activating or triggering.Its your guilt about separating from God - your sin.

Our reactions are often so quick to happen that it seems like someone or something outside of you 'causes' the feeling.

So I'm sitting here, and if someone comes along and pokes me with a stick, if I suddenly feel angry and annoyed, initially it might look like I've been made to feel this way BY that person. Or that I'm only feeling this way because of that person. Its an illusion of cause and effect.

But what's really happening is, my mind already contained guilt and anger and upset which was buried unconsciously, and being poked with the stick has somehow triggered it off, like a memory or an association, and its come up in my mind quickly and now I'm experiencing it. It's easy to bridge the gap and say, well this person has inflicted a 'fresh wound' upon me, but really it's something that was already in me.

Remember as ACIM says, "we but accuse our brother of our OWN sins." - meaning that our brother does not HAVE any sins that we can accuse them of - its all your own stuff that you project onto them.

The only reason we are here in bodies is because we tried to separate from God by condemning ourselves, attempting to destroy ourselves and to punish ourselves. WE are the ones who believe in our own sinfulness and our own guilt. It's got nothing to do with anyone else and nobody else put it there. And it is this inner self-guilt that becomes 'activated' in EVERY situation where we think someone or something else does 'something' to us to 'make us' unhappy. We simply 'recall' our own guilt and re-suffer.

So instead we hire people to come along and to seem like they are the cause of our suffering, because this triggers off our AGREEMENT that what they're insinuating about us is true (that we deserve punishment or mistreatment), even if we protest violently that this is uncalled for. We cannot get upset UNLESS we agree with the person, and we cannot get upset UNLESS we already believe deep down that we deserve this treatment.

Its not other people that take our power away. We are the ones who keep trying to GIVE it to other people, to give them our own self-responsibility in an attempt to ask them to take over the rights and responsibilities that WE have for ourselves and for our own feelings. We want someone else to be to blame for the separation from God because we have blamed ourselves heavily and can't bear the burden. But OUR suffering has NOTHING to do with anyone else.

So its extremely convenient when someone comes along and triggers you or pushes your buttons. And even though you will react in such a way as to suggest your entire reaction is their fault, or you were just sitting there innocently minding your own business, the fact is they would not be ABLE to upset you if you were truly free of your own guilt. So all they are really doing is helping you to become aware of what you are hiding from, and your hidden unconscious self-hate is actually calling for you to be punished, which is why you hire and attract people to do it to you, for you, even if you fight with them about it consciously.

Ok so, this is really all about taking responsibility for who you are and what you feel and what you believe is true about yourself. You need to learn to decouple and detach the lie, that how you feel is caused by someone else. How you feel is NEVER caused by someone else. Whoever is in your life that is pissing you off, ITS NOT THEM... its not their fault, they're just helping you to see that you pissed yourself off. You HAVE to stop blaming other people for what you are feeling. Fully. Totally. "You are never upset for the reason you think" and "anger is never justified" (ie blaming another).

I have been finding that I am so incredibly used to being a victim, that whenever someone does or says something to 'upset me', and I experience a reaction (which is really just my own self-attack surfacing in my awareness) I immediately add two-and-two together and find the other person to be 'guilty of' upsetting me. It seems like they caused the upset, and its all their fault. I actually buy into this really quickly. And it totally glosses over the fact that I am only experiencing what is already in me, what I already believe it true about myself, and I am only reminded of my own self condemnation.

So what I have to learn to do, which I am experimenting with now, is to remember to remind myself... "I am completely responsible for these feelings". Whatever my reaction is, I have to stop blaming the cause of it on other people. I have to stop seeing myself as having been at the 'effect' of anyone or anything other than myself. If anyone else has 'done this to me', then I am a victim. If I am a victim I can't find peace, no matter how much I protest. No matter what my feeling is, or how much it seems justified or unjustified, or how much it *seems* to have been activated by another person, I HAVE to get to where I admit honestly that EVEN THIS FEELING is not there 'because of' that other person, it's there because *I* put it there because its MY self-attack. "The secret to salvation is this - that you but did this to yourself."

To stop being a victim, or seeing yourself as victimized, you MUST own up to the fact that everything you are experiencing is YOURS. It is your own inner experience. It is not someone else's. It is not something that anyone else put there or created or caused or made happen or reinforced in any way. Its yours. This is your shit.

You have plenty of your own shit in your own mind which you put there to cover and explain absolutely all of your reactions and upset feelings and unhappiness, without needing even one other person to explain why you feel this way. You're doing a fine job of condemning yourself without needing to resort to trying to claim that someone else has 'added to' your load.

Nobody else has ever done anything to you. Period. Let that soak in for a minute. Nobody else has EVER done anything to you, and ALL of your reactions and feelings and experiences are INSIDE YOU, because you put them there. They're YOURS.

You are completely responsible for everything you experience and everything you feel and you are NOT at the effect of anyone else, ever.

Now, this is very tempting for the ego/hurt parts of yourself to want to skapegoat and this happens very rapidly and automatically when you are not being truly honest or observant. And you are so used to this happening that every single time someone or something outside of you 'goes wrong' or 'offends you' or 'attacks you' or 'does something to you' or whatever... you immediately launch into the mistaken perception that this OTHER has 'caused you'. Caused-you, in general... ie... they are the cause, you are their effect, you have no say in who you are, and you must change to match what they say you should be feeling. Victimhood.

So.... now your job is different. Your job is to notice whenever you are in the midst of an 'interaction' with someone or something, in which it has triggered off some feelings. Some upset. Some hurt or anger or whatever it is. If you are not happy, then chances are you are currently `holding a grievance` which you THINK is a grievance against someone else. You blame them for it.

BUT... your job now is this.... you MUST CLAIM OWNERSHIP of every part of what you are experiencing. All of your feelings of hurt, anger, rejection, pain, loss, suffering, sadness, offense, frustration, unfairness, etc... all of it... it is YOURS. It's inside you. And the ONLY reason you are experiencing it is BECAUSE YOU PUT IT THERE. We have to learn that it is NEVER about the other person, you are NEVER affected by someone else, you are NEVER at the effect of the world you see, you are NEVER experiencing something as the effect/result of someone or something else, and nobody has EVER done anything whatsoever to change who you are.

It's actually completely true that nobody has ever done anything to you. As in my quote yesterday - "you are completely harmless and you cannot be hurt." Only you can do this stuff to yourself. Only you can STOP doing this to yourself. This doesn't require a crazy mental somersault or perceptual trampolining in order to see it this way. It's actually the way it IS. You're just allowing yourself to acknowledge things for how they really ARE instead of making up the story that someone else is to blame.

When owned up to with responsibility, you have ONLY done this to yourself. Everyone else is innocent. You have never been hurt by anyone. You ARE immortal and invulnerable. Admitting to this and seeing this is simply the truth. There is no distortion in it and no fairytale needed to paint a picture to make it believable. The truth is that everything you're feeling, you are choosing to feel, on your own, without any help from anyone else.

As you learn to OWN what you are feeling, something really interesting happens. Or at least this is what I am finding. If someone does something that usually I'd say "they caused me to feel xyz"... if I say to myself, ok, I'm upset and feeling hurt and angry... but its NOT because of them... these are MY feelings, ALL of this experience is MINE and has nothing to do with them.... this ownership/responsibility does two things. 1) It completely detatches from the other person and withdraws all blame from them and correctly identifies WHERE the problem is (its in me, in my mind, not in the other person), and 2) It puts me in touch with what is MINE and who I AM.

What I'm finding is that as I own my feelings and stop blaming them on other people, ALL of them... I am owning up to being MYSELF. My 'personality' is coming out. I am feeling freer and happier. My unhappy feelings are dissolving away very quickly and I remain in the victim role for FAR less time. Taking this responsibility immediately detaches me from the other person, and severs the 'tie' that was trying to pin my feelings on someone else. The door is closed, and now I'm within myself. And as I sit with my own feelings in awareness that these are MY own feelings, no matter what seemed to happen, it shines a LIGHT which dispels them. It makes me laugh. I end up laughing rather than crying.

Owning my feelings completely undoes the foundation of victimhood and completely removes victimhood from my perception, which means I now see myself as NOT victimized which means whatever I'm feeling is my OWN creation which means it's really quite hilariously silly that I've chosen to create this feeling. It shows me how ridiculous it is to choose to feel this way. Why would I choose to deliberately feel upset? I am recognizing it is not TRUE that its someone else's fault and its not TRUE that I have been attacked, and this therefore (through oneness) reminds me that I can't have been attacked therefore there CAN'T have been any effects, and therefore I have no reason to be upset. So I can let it go much more quickly and return to happiness.

I'm finding my 'personality' is coming out a lot more, my persona is diminishing, my happiness is increasing and I see myself as much less victimized. I have less reason to be afraid because I'm starting to believe that nobody else is doing anything to me, and that they can't. And by owning my own feelings I am owning BEING ME which means I am allowing myself to be myself freely without all this conditionality of my fake ego victim self. Yay.

Good times. Freedom.
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