Accountability and responsibility


Purchased Bewilderment
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To what degree do we create our life experience and to what degree are we experiencing conditions beyond our control?
Working with addicts and alchoholics over the years I have noticed a common theme, those in the throes of addiction see themselves as victims and self medicate to escape. Once recovery begins an individual accepts more responsibility for her/his state of mind, and usually becomes happier and more productive.
So the question is, how far does this idea go? And what would happen if we contemplated our part in any condition that seems to confront us, even in what we might think of as "Dire circumstances?"
Not in a blame or shame way, but if we go back into our own way of thinking are aware of our own thoughts, are we in fact creating conditions, or allowing a combination of conditions to "flower" in our life?

Interesting... I think that what we experience as reality (though it is not Reality, if you know what I mean) is co-constructed with those around us. So I can be responsible for my reactions to what is contributed by others as well as my own contributions, but there are limitations on how much I can personally affect this co-constructed reality. For example, I can take responsibility for my part of the pollution problem and drive less, carpool, and/or buy a hybrid, but living in So Cal I'll still get smog all summer because of others contributions to reality.

That said, I think many people do slip into the victim role far too easily, especially about things for which we could take a lot more responsibility. I think that is unhealthy and am trying hard to leave such habits behind. Even some really awful things that have happened to me and made me feel totally victimized, when I looked at them from a more mature place in myself down the road- I found that I was partially responsible for getting myself into that situation. I don't deny the responsibility of the other person involved and blame myself for their actions, but I do recognize, in retrospect, my own part in the matter, even if it was only not listening to my intuition.

Furthermore, after one has been victimized in some way, it is up to the victim whether they will learn from that experience and move on or allow themselves to continue to be victimized by their memories and fears. It can be very difficult, but I've found that at some point you learn that after you've been hurt by someone else and it is over, it is up to you if you allow them to continue hurting you or you heal yourself. They own the action that hurt you, but you own the emotional reaction to being hurt. They may own an event, but you own the future.

Just my 2C. Hope it wasn't too confusing- trying to get my point across without divulging really personal information.
I think it's really just about what view of reality is more useful/comforting at the time and said view says nothing about which view is the correct one. I am speaking also very much to internal impulses.

I don't think it's a safe bet to assume we have free will, but I won't rule it out either. But from our perspective we do have free will so I guess I'll speak from my perspective.

It does seem like there are some people who view themselves as the victim and this does seem to be a sort of self-castration, although it may have been ruled by the world at large or by the person's nature. When a person is the one to whom things are done, they are not the person who does things. There is no empowerment. When the person sees himself as doing things, he is empowered.

You last question, creating or allowing, I think it's really more a question of whether we have any active role in it at all. We may think like we do, but this does not necessarily make it so. I can't answer that question.