Many people have the concept of being at fault confused with the idea of being responsible. Frequently I hear my clients say they are responsible for something in their life when they are really blaming themselves for not doing it right. When most people begin to explore the idea of being responsible they get angry and defensive. Eventually they feel bad about themselves, like they have done something wrong. It takes some people years to separate the two concepts. There are still times when I forget and find myself asking what I did wrong. Being responsible includes the ability to embrace an event, action or emotion. It is part of dominion. Being at fault implies that either you or someone else did something wrong. It is part of domination.

In order to really change and to grow from your experiences you must take personal responsibility for your life. The idea of the universe punishing you or sending you lessons are two examples of having fault mixed in with responsibility. Asking yourself why you created this mess is another example of feeling like you are at fault.

If you look at the word responsibility, you can break it down into the ability to respond. Part of taking responsibility is saying, “Yes I made choices, and my choices created this. I take responsibility for this.” If you have feelings about the events, let yourself have them. By all means, feel your feelings. If you are angry with yourself or sad or whatever, let yourself be okay with your feelings but then let go of them.

In dominion there is no such thing as an error or mistake, just an outcome. You may not like the result and want to change it. In dominion the word mistake takes on a new meaning, it means you need to adjust your choices so you will get a different outcome. We all learn how to walk by making lots of mistakes and falling down a lot. If, as a child, you hadn’t made those mistakes you never would have learned how to walk. As we wake up it becomes easier to learn, we no longer fear making mistakes. Learning is what taking responsibility is really about – the ability to learn or respond. It is a giant step toward your enlightenment.

As you learn to view life from the paradigm of dominion it is much easier to take responsibility for the events in your life and make different choices. If you feel you have done something wrong or have the need to forgive yourself there is still some fault involved. Take some time to look at your definition of responsibility and make sure it is free of fault.

If you are taking responsibility, you ask yourself questions like:

What could I have done differently?
What am I telling myself about this event?
What do I need to know so I can do things differently next time?
How do I feel about my decision?
How did I manage to go to sleep when I made that choice?

If you have fault mixed in you are probably asking yourself questions like:

Why does this always happen to me?
How could I have been so stupid?
When I am I ever going to learn my lesson?
What is the matter with me?
How could they do this to me?
What did I do wrong?

Does the idea of being responsible for your life or your experiences make you feel uncomfortable in any way? Does the idea of being responsible for everything in your life make you angry? If it does, I can guarantee that you have confused responsibility with being at fault.

When you accept responsibility for your life it means you have the power to change. If the thought of doing that makes you feel you have done something wrong, it means you are feeling at fault.

Take some time and really look at your definitions. The word fault comes from the Latin word meaning to deceive or fail. The word responsible comes from two root words that mean worth or suitable for holding on to or a promise. So you could look at the word responsibility as a suitable promise worth holding on to. I assure you that as you learn how to take responsibility for your life, you will reclaim your sense of self.

With love and aloha,

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