Responsibility is a combination of a choice and its consequence. If we are prepared to make a decision then we must be equally prepared to accept its outcome and wherever it takes us from there. The minute we begin to blame another person for our circumstances or state of mind we have somehow given up our responsibility.

It may seem as if we are responsible for other people and how they treat us but we can only be in control of ourselves and no one else.

Interdependence with others is integral to life and one of the hardest lessons seems to be that we take things personally and in so doing, set ourselves up to suffer.

Being attacked or singled out in word or in deed by another person can put us on the back foot, but falling into self-pity or a full state of anger over their comments or actions only serves to fill us up with an emotional burden – the one they are throwing onto us. If we take things personally then we are accepting their control.

As soon as we take things personally in any confrontation we are likely to give up our responsibility and resort to blame. In that position we are unable to be powerful. The power I refer to here is the intuitive instinct to be of full heart and full voice and full mind – to step out of the way of another person’s onslaught and walk on.

Why is it that we believe another’s opinion of us and often seek it out, eagerly awaiting their approval? We possibly believe the words if they are said by another but may not believe what we say to ourselves. It is more than likely we will accept their rejection, in turn resorting to rejecting ourselves and pondering why they have treated us that way.
Falling back into a comfort zone of taking things personally will keep us living a life of drama and suffering for as long as we allow it. These entanglements are commonplace; we ‘enjoy’ them every day, sparring and getting involved in one-upmanship, patting ourselves on the back after achieving a breakthrough that justifies our position.

If we awaken and remove our own self judgments our lives will turn around. You may already be on that road and far ahead of the above commentary; however, there is always room to be more at ease, more compassionate and less retaliative and there is absolutely no place for resentment. It eats a person up. If we take in the poison of another’s person’s opinion it can eat into our self-esteem and integrity too.

Be like the gentle wind in Hexagram 57 – penetrating but capable of dispersing clouds that have gathered and leaving the sky clear and calm. We all have to deal with enemies – known and unknown – and it is the grace with which we handle the ‘defeat’ that will determine our new undertakings.

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