By Peter Shepherd
means being at cause: that is, we determine the direction of our lives. We
are responsible for our existence. We are in control. When we are
responsible for something, it is we who have to explain why it is, as it
is. After all, we have exercised our power to change and create - and to
begin and to end.
are the person responsible for what is good and what is bad in our life
situation. Here lies the crux. With responsibility comes the possibility
of blame and then shame. If all goes well, we are praised - but if not, we
are the one who may be blamed. It is then "our fault" and we may
feel shame. As our failures and wrong-doings increase, so does our pain
and guilt and shame. Is it surprising that many have relinquished their
power, given up control and responsibility, in many aspects of their lives
- to hide safely at effect rather than express themselves at cause? In
truth, you are the creator of your own life. Yet you can pretend to be at
effect: to be disempowered.
yield our power of choice we no longer control our own life. Someone else
controls it for us. We no longer have the power to change our situation
for the better - but also we no longer can be blamed. We sometimes invest
a lot in being at effect in this way and don't give it up easily. It can
assuage our guilt and hide our true failures. It's a safe solution to our
it's not the best solution. By being a victim, we try to escape the burden
of responsibility but then have to accept the pain of losing our freedom.
We refuse to choose, and have others choose for us. We refuse to control
and allow others to control us. We do not accept our power, and give it to
others. We do such a good job at this that we believe we have no real say
in our lives. Our pain is their responsibility. It is their fault. Yet by
doing this we deprive ourselves of so much pleasure and fun in life.
reverse this situation it is necessary to recognize we are responsible for
our choices that bring about our present and future conditions - how we
are already causing our situation. Then we are empowered and we can choose
we give our power away? The fact is that we never did give it away. We are
always making choices. Even choosing not to choose. We always choose what
we interpret to be the best option that we have available. We are always
choose to (pretend to) be effect, it is because the problems of
responsibility appear greater than all the trouble that comes from being
at effect. For example, being beaten by a drunken husband seems preferable
to the alternatives of remedying his behavior or starting a new
must be something of value that the person is finding in the current
arrangement of being at effect. Maybe
having somebody tell you what to do provides safety;
on drugs provides peace;
having somebody scream at you every day helps you to feel something;
with an alcoholic ensures uncritical company.
really wouldn't be in that sort of situation unless the apparent
advantages outweighed the drawbacks.
the idea of being responsible for our actions, our feelings and our
beliefs may be uncomfortable. Our interpretation of past negative
experiences may maintain it is dangerous to recover our own ability to
choose. Most likely we have tried things in the past that failed and led
to us feeling upset, so now we refuse to take that kind of responsibility,
to express our true selves.
we go wrong is in the interpretation. What seems to be safe is not
necessarily in our best interest. If I don't try for promotion, I won't be
disappointed by rejection - but I'll have to continue at the same old job
that is not fulfilling any more. So the fear of rejection is more powerful
in this case than our desire for a better job. We pick the apparently safe
position of being effect. Sadly, we have chosen misery rather than
challenge and delight!
reclaim your power if you can recognize that you are the cause of your
life. That you have made choices and continue to live by them, and
therefore you have the power to choose again and create the world you
want. To do this you need to become conscious of your fears and the way
they influence your choices. Fear is a strong and painful emotion so we
try to suppress it from our consciousness, but it continues to act
subconsciously, limiting our choices within the safe boundaries that do
not trigger the fear.
I accept a fear and transcend it? I think a good way is to realize that
fear is a two-sided coin. The other side of the coin is love, the positive
dynamic in our life for truth and freedom. Love is about acceptance, fear
is about resistance. Our fears can help us to become aware of the
expression of love that may be missing in our life - because our choices
are being hidden alongside our fears under the floorboards of our
begin to accept your fears instead of hiding them away, recognize that
each fear is based on a judgment that just isn't necessary, and delight as
the flower of your true self begins to bloom.
Shepherd runs the personal growth website Tools for Transformation, which
includes many resources for transformation of body, mind and spirit -
including his full book 'Transforming the Mind' available freely online
and for PDF download, and a popular free monthly newsletter. For details
of these and much more please click here...