Taking responsibility for the results of our actions, our attitudes, our perspectives and our behaviors is necessary for good health and healthy relationships.  Of course, life wouldn’t be half as fun or irony filled if we did that on a consistent basis.  I mean, what would sitcoms be about if we were all healthy and well balances, saw ourselves clearly and acted responsibly?  And who would watch them.  Meh!

But sometimes, frequently in the spiritual community, we can take responsibility for things which aren’t actually ours.  When something shows as a repeated pattern in our lives, when we try to get from here to there but there is constantly a block, when we try over and over, but never get anywhere, it’s good to check in and see what is going on with us that’s causing the issue.  It’s good to see what we’re holding onto that we can let go of, to check our perspective and see if we’re off somewhere, to turn inward and check our motivations, etc, etc, etc.  But what happens if you’ve done all that and the problem still exists?

I have students and clients who just keep digging to find the root cause of the problem even though they are half way to China and haven’t seen any hint of it.  They get to a point where they are like the Christian flagellants who just keep beating themselves in order to reach salvation. They dig and dig and just keep digging because there must be something there!  But there isn’t.  The issue isn’t them. It isn’t a deep seated flaw or something to be healed.  It’s not a lesson to be learned but a moment in time where various experiences are overlapping, some coming, others going, and in the meantime the person is ignoring the now of the situation, all the players and all of their intersecting actions, all of their own energy wrapped in these situations therefore not being available for anything else, and then act as if they are the only influence in the situation and the center of the Universe.  Therefore everything is their fault instead of their being  part of an interconnected situation.

So yes they are involved in the situation and to the extent they are involved they may or may not be influencing the problem one way or the other.  However, nothing is going to be resolved by further digging.  The way to start getting resolution is to stop digging.  Stop being responsible for everyone and everything in the situation.  Putting effort into climbing out of the whole should be the first priority.  Because until that’s done, there’s no way to see the actual lay of the land.