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Peacock Dreams

From Today's Work

From Today's Work

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Until you are willing to take responsibility for your life, you will never be free.

Freedom is autonomy and the integration of your power and compassion. As long as you are blaming your parents, your ex-girlfriend, 'society', or any other host of demons for your current state, you will not be free.

Am I saying that we need not hold others accountable for rude, damaging or inconvenient behavior? No. I am saying: get angry, or grieve, or rail, and then move on. If rectifying or reconciling can occur, all the better. If not, can you reconcile things within yourself in such a way that you take back control of your life, take full responsibility for your emotions (these are never the fault or responsibility of anyone else, no matter who or what we are reacting to), and figure out how to live with and within your life as it stands right now?

This is the necessary task for every Magician, Witch and Shaman. In fact, it is the necessary task for every adult human being. To act otherwise is to abdicate responsibility. Abdication of responsibility is the work of one stunted, not an adult human being.

Choose. Breathe. Forgive yourself. Cleanse. And move on.

P.S. I saw Cora today and spent part of the vist reading her portions of Lon Duquette's new book, "Solomon's Key". She really liked it. She still could use cards, visits, or prayers.
  • Amen.
  • This is very valuable! I most often have paradigm collisions around this issue when questions of blame and responsibility come up: some folks approach problems with the primary goal of finding out who's to blame, and I've often angered them by focusing instead on what any party can do to make it better. (which sometimes involves assigning blame and ditching the person responsible, but that's still different from blaming them and feeling like that ends it).

    I think your message here is one many people need to hear. Some people, though, err in the opposite direction. Sometimes you really are emotionally scarred, and sometimes your intuitions and feelings get screwed up in a way that you can't fix right now. In that case you can't accept responsibility by fixing the problem; you have to accept responsibility by finding new ways to cope or new directions for moving forward. And you have the added challenge of remaining in touch with your own power, even as you admit that something happened to you against your will and did things to you that you can't change.

    Of course, this is stuff you're already aware of, but it's the angle on things that I've been encountering lately. It's similar to changing the things we can and accepting those we can't, but life is rarely that simple. There are lots of different battles we can choose among, and that makes life very interesting!
  • (no subject) -
    • I like your friend's wording as well... I may adopt it into my phrases!

      I often tell people who choose to fight and fuss with their partners again and again and again "Don't fight piss with piss, you'll wind up with burning eyes and stinky"

      It usually calms them down. LOL
  • Thanks, Thorn. This is remarkably well-timed. I just claimed back a bit of freedom and a bit of life-force I'd been submitting to another for kind of a long time, and woah! it wasn't even that hard.

    kala, rinse, repeat.
  • I have always found this to be true. Freedom requires discipline to take control of one's destiny. Freedom does not ever excuse us from the hard work and diligent effort needed to be a good human being.

    Yet too many times, people become enslaved to vice and the ego, and trade freedom for a momentary comfort...
  • I've been meditating on this a lot recently, as it's an issue that has come up in my personal life a great deal. I don't disagree with your conclusions, though I do think it is easier to hold these things to be true than it is to put them into action.

    I don't think one can be held responsible for one's emotions - they arise as part of the natural sequence of things. The question is more whether one is able to recognise which emotions are important, which are absurd, which are out of proportion. Further, I can recognise when people have an emotional hold over me - their awareness of that, and attempts to manipulate it would be their responsibility, my choice to allow that to continue once aware of it would be absolutely my own.

    I suppose there is space for compassion in dealing with others who are acting from toxic emotion. The rational mind is a giddy little thing in the middle of great, surging torrents of emotion - as witches, magicians or whatever, we certainly learn when and how to batten down the hatches, and how to stay stable, and also how to give oneself over when appropriate. Though this is something we may desire from other epople, I don't think it can always be expected.

    The vast majority of people abdicate responsibility for vast portions of their life every day - the very fact that part of magical training is reclaiming that responsibility should point out how widespread that is. I guess we've got to keep singing till they hear us.

    (PS - I am envious of your attendance at ASE, the programme looked amazing.)
    • I could've stated better:

      often people blame others for their emotional states: ie you make me so angry! She made me depressed. You make me happy. etc etc etc as though another person is responsible for their emotions.

      that is what I meant by taking responsibility - not that we can control the arising of emotions, but that we need to claim them.
  • This is something that I struggle with sometimes.

    I don't know with great confidence where the line between recognising that other people have done me lasting harm and dwelling in that damaged place lies. I work at correcting the damages done to me -- studying with you has been part of that process -- but I don't know at all how much I need to address where things came from, and how much I need to address where I'm going.
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