Human beings have a terrible habit of not taking responsibility for things. When I look around the world I am presented with daily reminders of this. Visual clues, scattered all over London (and cities like it), in the form of discarded newspapers on the tube, mattresses on the pavements and litter wherever the wind takes it.
After exploring my own sense of responsibility in varying forms over the years, I’ve recently begun to ponder the question: how can I encourage my fellow humans to take greater responsibility for that which they leave behind them in the world?
I don’t just mean the physical stuff. What about energy also; what kind of energy do we discard as we move through life and leave for another person to deal with?
So I’m starting a campaign to increase people’s awareness of responsibility, by choosing to share my story, in the hope that it might inspire at least one human to consider their own. They might then inspire another person, and so on and so on until bingo: we have ourselves a revolution.
I’ve always been great at holding my hands up if I get something wrong, so my track record of taking responsibility already existed. I have also been guilty of taking too much responsibility at times when it wasn’t necessary, largely for other people.
Whilst I had never considered myself to be a ‘litterbug’ in the traditional sense of the word, I had definitely been guilty of leaving rubbish on a table for someone else to clear up, or leaving a newspaper on the tube in years gone by. But by choosing a life that wasn’t meant for me, I often moved around the world in a state of heightened emotion – whether stress, turmoil, anger or intense sadness. I therefore was a ‘litterbug’ in an even more dangerous form, as that was the energy that I left behind in my wake.
I only ever wanted to be someone who leaves the world slightly better than I found it, or indeed leaves people slightly better than I find them. An interaction with me should never deplete anyone or anything. It shouldn’t leave someone with something to ‘deal with’ afterwards.
It had never occurred to me that I might be negatively impacting the world around me, either by discarding or by absorbing the debris of others. But I was. So as soon as I became aware of it, I resolved to take responsibility. For all of it.
In 2010, I took responsibility for the way I had allowed my life to become and I resolved to change it. I changed all of the things that were toxic to me, but I never blamed any of the situation I found myself in on others – toxic relationship, crippling amount of debt etc. All of those things were down to one person – me and the choices that I had chosen to make.
The first and most significant move I made at this time was when I physically left my former life behind, and in doing so, the house I owned and the physical things I had amassed during that period of my life. All I wanted to do at that time was run away from it and leave it all behind, but I forced myself to face it. I cleared every last thing from that house before I left it, with the help of my amazing family.
We took everything of value to a charity shop. We took the rest to the tip. It was physically gruelling and emotionally demanding, but we did it. It ended up being an incredibly rewarding experience. A moment of closure. I was taking responsibility for the state I had allowed my life to become, and the manner with which I had chosen to exist.
Consider for a moment if I hadn’t – what would I have been leaving inside that house for someone else to find? They would have had to ‘deal with’ the energy of a toxic relationship and all of the physical possessions that represented that. I took responsibility for myself so that they didn’t have to do it for me.
Let’s consider the other side now, the responsibility I was choosing to take for others. By taking responsibility where we shouldn’t, we rob the other person of the opportunity to do so for themselves. If they choose not to, it is not for us to make up the shortfall. I did exactly that for my ex husband and it left me depleted. So even though in our relationship, I was the giver and he was the taker – you can clearly see how we both are responsible for what our relationship became.
This is something I still work hard on. By living in connection to myself, I am able to quickly see when that is what I am doing in a scenario, and I make a conscious choice to stop doing it. If something hurts me emotionally, I am responsible for choosing to allow it to do so. I am therefore responsible for taking the positive steps I need to to change it.
In the physical world, I leave as little trace of my passing as possible. I clear all my own waste, I am responsible for my ‘mess’ and make sure that I leave little for others to ‘deal with’ in my wake.
In the energetic world, I have become increasingly awake and alert, and aware of the energy I choose to leave behind. You don’t even have to have a conversation with someone to see/feel that they are in a ‘bad mood’, the same goes for when they are projecting love, joy and happiness. By maintaining my connection to me as much as possible, I make sure that when I interact with others and pass through their world in the energetic sense, I try to leave only an imprint of love.
I am able to maintain this by existing in a loving way and maintaining a loving relationship with myself. I maintain a steady supportive routine – early to bed, early to rise, eating wholesome and nourishing food, taking some form of exercise daily, and choosing to be amongst like minded people, that through their friendship help me to evolve in a loving way.
I take full responsibility for all the choices that I make, and for making sure that they are loving and supportive ones. By doing so, I do a much better job of leaving the world better than I found it than I ever did before.
So. That revolution. Shall we…?