I was brought up to be ‘responsible’ and to have an awareness that how I acted affected other people; as the eldest child, there were expectations that I took on – that how I behaved had an impact on my younger siblings. Doing the ‘right’ thing was important even if no one else knew you were doing it. I prided myself on being honest and pointing out, for example, if a shopkeeper had undercharged me, but in reality, I was often very irresponsible in how I took care of myself and also how my frequent disregard for myself and my wellbeing impacted all those around me. Not just because other people had to pick up some of my responsibilities, but also in the irritability and other behaviours that I imposed on others.
The energy that I allowed to flow through my body and out to others was not loving, and choosing to look at this quality of my energetic output (i.e. my energetic responsibility) has been a humbling and uncomfortable experience. Being more aware of what it means to be truly responsible – and recognising that how I am in life has an impact on others – has uncovered a range of behaviours that I had successfully ignored for a long time. I have hidden behind an angry/battling persona for much of my life and often had this reflected back to me, which led to many misunderstandings and complications and feelings of being a victim of others’ emotions.
Accepting my responsibility that everything I say, do or think affects everyone else has completely changed how I approach life. Once it was presented to me that on entering a room, anyone can feel (if they choose to) what has been happening there – e.g. if there has been an argument, or if there has been a loving exchange, I became more aware of how often I had imposed my feelings and emotions on others and looked for them to side with me, against whomever I was in conflict with.
The more I have become aware of my own patterns of behaviour and irresponsibility, the more I have recognised it around me. We each have rights and responsibilities within our communities and this reflects how we are as individual nations: the way I and my fellow citizens choose to live has an effect on how the country we call home is. Changing ingrained patterns of behaviour can be challenging, but it is our energetic responsibility to reflect to others the loving choices we can make every day: we can continue to strive for personal gain whatever the impact on others, or we can lovingly choose to work together for the benefit of all.
There is a wider energetic responsibility currently playing out in many countries around the world. For too many of us there has been a comfort in feeling hard done by in the circumstances we find ourselves in, with a complete absence of any sense of having contributed to our current predicament.
I was appalled by the UK’s vote for Brexit, having been a passionate European since spending time living and working in Germany during my early adult life. However, I was not totally surprised. I could feel how I have contributed to the disconnection around me of so many who feel left behind and blame ‘outsiders’ – e.g. refugees or immigrants – and also politicians, whose lives are far removed from their everyday experience of struggling to get by.
Being energetically responsible is incompatible with casting yourself in the ‘victim’ role, as either an individual or as a nation. It is only when we start to feel how we are living, and commit to making choices that support ourselves and others to live in a way that is not harming, that we can become more aware of how it is to live with Energetic Responsibility.
By Helen Elliott, Ipswich, UK