How and why take personal responsibility when the situation we are in is out of our hands? There are forces out there that are causing the challenge, the trauma, or the situation. It is being done to and upon us. Should not the responsibility lie outside ourselves on the entities, power and people who are causing the situation we can not control?
Yes, those causing the situation do need to take responsibility. The responsibility we take is that of healing ourselves, forgiving ourselves, creating a response that reinstates with us the freedom to stand in our Power and continue toward our life goals. If we do not do our work to understand the choices we made to end up in a situation out of our control, then we are giving up our Power.
As I have been writing the blogs for this week I have been wondering: how do Thor and Loki grow up in the same household and yet end up so different?
It is all about how we chose to perceive our life experiences. That is a difficult statement to hear, especially when it relates to situations out of our control.
"I made this choice..."
And yet, healing begins when we are able to say, “I made this choice….that led to….” It is not an easy thing to do. Many times it is gutt-wrenchingly painful. This statement does not take away from the reality of the situation, from its pain, from the responsibility of the outside parties. When we acknowledge our choice, we are energetically placed you back upon your feet, at the helm of your driver’s wheel. It does energetically give you back control of your choices in your life. You can not control forces outside yourself (abusers, violence, war). You can only control your reaction to the situations you are placed in. You can only control the choices you make.
Each choice we make creates. Sometimes we can see fully what we are creating. Other times we make a choice and have no idea where it will lead. Each choice we make in life, begins a creation. This is important to understand and accept.
When we find ourselves in situations that feel out of our control, we made a choice that began a creation that took us here. Other forces played a part in it. Yes. However, we created the path that led us into play with those other forces. This is the hard part of personal responsibility. This is the transformational and healing gift of personal responsibility.
Thor: Ragnarok: a case study
Thor Ragnarok is all about what happens when you are able to say, “I made this choice that led to…” In Ragnarok, Thor has to deal with situations that are heaped upon him — out of his control.
Thor could easily blame the situation upon others:
Thor to Loki: What would you like me to say. You faked your own death. You stole the thrown, stripped Odin of his power, stranded him on Earth to die, releasing the Goddess of Death. Have I said enough?
He could also blame his father, Odin for the situation he is in. It is Odin who concealed the existence of the Goddess of Death from his sons, creating a situation where Loki unwittingly unleashed her.
Valkerie: That’s what is wrong with Asgard. The thrown, the secrets, the whole golden sham.
Thor: I agree. That’s why I turned down the thrown. This isn’t about the crown. This is about the people…
He could allow himself to fall into deep despair, but he doesn’t:
Thor: I’m not sad. I’m pissed off! Angry. I lost my father. I lost my hammer….
And yet, even amongst all his loss, he continues his journey toward his goal.
What is it that gives him the strength to continue in the midst of such challenging circumstances, against all odds?
For me, it begins with the moment he recognizes and acknowledges his role in getting to this place. When Thor made that choice, it was a choice meant to for the greater good — for himself and for Asgard. He gave up the thrown at the end of Dark World:
Odin: What can Asgard offer his new King in return?
Thor: My life. Father, I can not be King of Asgard. I will protect Asgard and all the Realms with the last and every breath, but I can not do so from that chair….. The brutality. The sacrifice. It changes you. I would rather be a good man than a great king.
He acknowledges that choice on Earth, when he goes to bring his father back from Exile. Dr Strange has opened a portal to Norway where Odin currently is and says, “He’s (Odin) is waiting for you.”
But in that alright is a deep sigh and awareness of what he is going to do. There is a heaviness about it, a preparation for coming face to face with his responsibility for what happened to his father.
When he meets his father, Thor says: “I know we failed you but we can make this right.”
This recognition of the choice he made that began the path that led Thor to where is he throughout Ragnarok. This is what frees Thor from despair, from blame, from giving-up.
Freedom: the gift of personal responsibility
The gift of acknowledging and owning our personal responsibility is freedom — freedom from guilt, despair, blame, apathy and more. It is freedom to adjust our creating so that we are in greater alignment with Spirit and the greater good. This freedom is steeped in self-forgiveness and a re-valuing of oneself, finding that sense of worthiness that empowers you to continue toward your goal.
We can chose to allow life’s circumstances to hold us captive
Or we can chose to remain at the helm, steering our life toward healing, greater compassion, balance and harmony, and wholeness.
Pastor Jocelyn Emerson weaves together her training as a Light and Energy worker, Reiki master, spiritual director, and Pastor with her life experience as a mystic and contemplative to offer a space of trust, safety, and honesty to support you on your life's journey.