The Benefits of Being Wrong Part 2: Responsibility

The Benefits of Being Wrong Part 2: Responsibility

The good news is that you are completely responsible for the quality of your life.

The bad news is that you are completely responsible for the quality of your life.

The extent that you blame others for your suffering is the extent to which you give up your own power.

I’m not talking about magical thinking here. I don’t think our minds can effect objective reality. And I’m not talking about blame. There is a big difference between blame and responsibility. They are like apples and Apple computers. Very different things.

But we don’t live in objective reality. We live in subjective reality. And what is the key to happiness and power in our subjective reality is not what happens, it’s how we respond to what happens.

Responsibility is really about your ability to respond. In the Sallatha Sutra, the Buddha tells the parable of the two arrows. We can’t avoid the first arrow, which is an unpleasant occurrence. We can, but usually don’t, avoid the second arrow, which is the suffering caused by our wish that the inevitable first arrow hadn’t struck us.

We are responsible for our ongoing suffering in most cases and, according to the Buddha, this suffering is caused by our desire that things be other than what they are.

You can also take responsibility for things that happened in the past. This doesn’t mean taking the blame for what someone else did you you but it does mean taking responsibility for your part in whatever happened and cleaning up your side of the street. If you do this without expecting the other person (or persons) to do anything you can actually repair a rift in your life.

But taking responsibility is the key.

And admitting where and how you’ve been wrong is necessary. If you can’t admit that you’ve been wrong, you can’t take responsibility and you can’t reclaim that power.

I just finished watching Russian Doll on Netflix.

It’s good, you should watch it. I won’t spoil it for you but taking responsibility is the lesson that the characters need to learn and once they do they regain their power.

Let me know if this makes sense or resonates. Comments are below.

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