This post is the second part of my series on M. Scott Peck’s book The Road Less Travelled, and his four methods of processing pain effectively!
Click here to read the first part on delaying gratification.
Today I will speak to you about accepting responsibility (yay, everyone’s favourite!)
“We must accept responsibility for a problem
before we can solve it.“
Suffering is often preferable to admitting responsibility in our own circumstances.
We can blame others, our jobs, our health; but the truth is there is often something we can do to change what we are unhappy about. We just don’t, and stay stuck in inertia.
Peck as a psychiatrist talks about people with neurosis and character disorders coming to him:
the first assume too much responsibility, the latter not enough.
It’s possible to be both in different areas, but it’s much easier to get neurotics to change their behaviour as they have already seen that they play a part in their own undoing.
“Distinguishing what we are and are not
responsible for in this life is one of the
greatest problems of human existence.”
Only with great life experience leading to maturation can we see ourselves realistically.
By blaming others for our problems, they don’t actually become solved.
We simply become comfortable with them, and stop growing in any way.
“If you are not part of the solution,
then you are part of the problem.”
– Eldridge Cleaver
Similar to the first method in my previous blog, we are trying to avoid pain by shifting blame.
If we accept responsibility, we have to accept the consequences of our behaviour.
By giving it away, we hand over the freedom and power over our own choices.
Be it a boss, a partner or a government; if we ask them to solve an issue, we lose all authority.
What are we willing to actively change, and what have done that contributed?
“All patients come to psychiatrists with one common problem:
The sense of helplessness, the fear and inner conviction of being unable to cope and to change things.
One of the roots of this is some desire to escape the pain of freedom, and therefore some failure to accept responsibility for their problems and their lives.
They feel impotent because they have given their power away.
Sooner or later, if they are to be healed, they must learn that the entirety of one’s adult life is a series of personal choices, decisions.
To the extent that they do not accept this they will never be free, and will forever feel themselves victims.”
– Dr. Hilde Bruch
I’m really enjoying processing my reading with these short write-ups!
Read the next chapter in this series about the third essential tool of processing pain and living a happier, easier life here: Dedication to reality!