Some thing I am getting more and more convinced these day is that during moments of disconnects I am more at peace and able to engage with others better when I take greater responsibility of my actions and feelings that are arising from them. When I just Blame others, I can sound like – you make me angry, you made me do that, because of you I did it, he is very needy, you never asked me, you didn’t make it clear earlier, etc. In these moments I realise that often there was a part of me which lets things happen or consent to what was going on. I might do it out of habit, or norm, or expectation, fear of retribution, fear of excluded or losing out on other people’s love but nonetheless there is a part that I play in contributing to that situation. That is the part when I was not in my awareness or power and that’s I want to take more and more responsibility of lately. I am not saying we need to take 100 percent responsibility but even if I begin to take part of that responsibility, I can be more in a position to change my world as my actions are much more in control for me than the actions of other people. I see it as a position of empowerment.
When, I just blame others for my situation, I surely loose my inner peace and that too almost beyond repair as its easy for me to then keep expecting, wanting waiting for others to change for me to feel better or to ‘make’ me feel better. And I know what a challenging journey can that be or how difficult it is to make any one change. By, saying this I am not implying that change in others can’t happen but to give full responsibility of my feelings on to others is like giving full control of my life to some one else.
So How do I free myself from being a slave of other people’s behaviour. I see two possible ways for it. One is, I begin to look for my actions which are responsible or triggering certain behaviours in other people and I try to work on them. Is there any thing that I am doing is sounding like blame and attack on some one else and triggering them to do what they are doing? Am I making demands on other people where they may not be experiencing choice? Am I using threat or manipulation to get my things done? Am I just doing things in way that ignores the needs of the others? Am I not clear when I am making agreements or am I not seeking enough clarity? Am I not making requests and expecting them to understand what I want without me saying and to do it on their own? When I can catch myself doing some of this or other similar actions, then I can try to take small steps change some bit of my actions.
The second thing for me is how do I see their behaviour in such a way that I have more power over my experience that is being generated from their behaviour. Which will be more like when others do some thing, which is disturbing or painful for me, can I try to see why they do what they do? What could be there good enough reason or the need that they are trying to meet by their action? What could have been their belief system which would have made them do that? What is their experience of the worlds or the exposure they have that makes them behave the way they behave? Or try to go in their shoes.
All the above work lets me be bit more at peace with my unmet needs and leaves me with more spaciousness to engage with others with more connection than when my inner peace was gone and I was in some kind of desperation while engaging with others. I can express more authentically probably through my feelings and needs, in a way that it could be easier for others to listen and I am also in a space to empathise with their needs.
I would love to create offerings where we can come together with community and explore the process of taking ‘co-responsibility’ of our situations and engage with greater sense of control and power in our life, which could also give a sense of care to those whom we are wanting to engage with. This can happen at the level of conflicts between individuals or even conflicts between groups.
I have great learning from Marshall B Rosenberg and Miki Kashtan to make me see what I have shared above. Besides, the word ‘co-responsibility’ is from Dominic Barter who is also a great inspiration for his work on Restorative Circles.