You know how some things just go well together like chocolate and ice cream or chocolate and coffee or ice cream and coffee?  But other things make very weird combinations that can have unintended results like soda and Mentos?  Fun but probably best done outside in an area that is easy to clean up.  Or Mountain Dew and anti-freeze?  Both weirdly yellow and really sweet, but you probably only want to give this mix to someone you really, really want dead.  Not everything that can go together should go together. Separately the pieces are great and have multiple positive uses but the combinations don’t always work well.

In the spiritual community a weird combination has shown up over the past 30-40 years that has become somewhat of a staple.  If something negative or difficult is happening in your life, it must be because your vibration called that in, this is a mirror for you to see yourself in, you have something to learn from this therefore it’s here for a reason.  This really broad stroke generalization is applied to pretty much everything from the person who survived the destruction of their home due to weather event (tornado, flooding, wildfire, landslide) someone who is a victim of violence to the survivor of domestic abuse to those working through the Great Recession where lots of people lost everything and most people lost something. It seems to be a hybrid or combination of self-reflection, seeing how each life is interconnected is a complicated cause and effect, personal responsibility, compassion for others, and seeing how we manufacture social situations to help us heal brokenness in our own lives.  Sometimes there’s a dash of passive/aggressive and co-dependence in there.

The problem is that in combination these tend to create an unhealthy victim blaming scenario where everything, even other’s actions and choices are the responsibility of the individual.  Every bad situation, unhealthy interaction, and negative consequence ultimately derives from the recipient.  An abusive spouse becomes our responsibility because we chose to be with them when they became violent. A lost job becomes our responsibility because we must need to learn something or move on to something else. We have come to think of these things as wisdom when in fact they are abusive.  We aren’t in control or responsible for the choices and actions of others, only our choices and responses. Could we have seen that our spouse was violent and going to react violently, maybe and maybe not.  If they’ve done this before they might have been hiding the fact until they had us set up so we couldn’t fight back.  Did we cause the loss of our job?  Maybe and maybe not.  Corporations are made up of people and needs and plans all of which rarely take the individual employee into consideration.  We could have been just a number.  I personally witnessed an international corporation go through a mass layoff of 10,000 people in one week.  Not all 10,000 people vibrated that event into being, bad planning, economics, and business decisions on the part of the corporation did.  What all 10,000 did with that event was their responsibility as well as an opportunity for growth, change, and to learn more about themselves and the world.  Not all events are lessons we’re meant to learn from.  Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.  We can, however, learn from all the events that we experience if we choose to do so.

This concept of personal responsibility and the fallacy of being responsible for other’s actions is something I support clients in learning on a rather regular basis. Children who are molested aren’t holding that vibration in their energy field. They aren’t harmonizing with predators and needing to work through things. Rape victims aren’t responsible for being raped. No woman in the Congo or Darfur is vibrating out to child soldiers “come rape me to death.” No child in Nepal or India is vibrating out to the world that they want to be sold into sexual slavery. I’m very pro the examined life and understanding how our choices create situations and interconnections which have positive and negative results, but taking on responsibility for other’s actions not only hurts us, it denies the other their free will.