limitless responsibility

“My ability to respond is limitless, but my ability to act is limited. I am one hundred percent responsible for everything I am and everything I am not, for my capacities and my incapacities, for my joys and my miseries. I am the one who determines the nature of my experience in this life and beyond. I am the maker of my life”

this is an excerpt from the book “Inner Engineering: a Yogi’s Guide to Joy” by sadhguru jaggi vasudev that amy and i have been reading together recently. though we are not even one hundred pages in yet, it is already a deeply empowering and eye opening book and i would recommend it. from the name,”Inner Engineering” one can already begin to understand it’s premise: that as humans we can cultivate, create and choose the life we live in the here and now. this concept is one of the driving forces behind the embracing of the yogic journey. amy wonderfully discussed this theme in her recent post perception>>>reality . the concept of controlling who you are in the world is empowering and sadhguru adds extremely insightful wisdom to this idea in how we view “responsibility.”

inner engineering

responsibility has always gotten a bad wrap. the more people, scenarios, or actions you are responsible for the more burdensome your life tends to be, at least conceptually. sadhguru says this is a misconception of what the word truly means. maybe I had heard this at some point in my life, but reading it again today breathed new life into the concept, but if you break down the actual word” responsibility” all it simply means is the ability to respond. if you are responsible for a situation, you have the ability to respond to that situation in the way you choose to. responsibility is not synonymous with action and it is definitely not reaction. as sadhguru says, “reactivity is enslavement. responsibility is freedom.”  but instead responsibility offers you the choice of action in the way you want to choose how to act.

taking full responsibility of your life means taking control of how you respond to the situations around you. i feel like the the concept of cultivating your own reality can get misconstrued here. at first glance at the waves of the ocean of this concept, they look unorganized, frantic and unstable. just like the real waves of the ocean they are uncontrollable and chaotic. how are you supposed to control them? how are you supposed to create your own reality? you definitely cannot control what happens to you. in fact, the only constant in life is change. but you do have the ability to control your response to what happens to you. reactions might try to dictate how you view your reality and in turn hold you enslaved but learning to be responsible for your life and your own reality means being able to control how you view the changes that will inevitably happen to you and in turn dive below the chaotic waves of reaction and discover the peaceful waters underneath.


with this mindset your responsibility is limitless. and having limitless responsibility is not burdensome as might first appear, it is freedom. being in control of how you respond to  life, to death, to change is incredibly freeing, for you are no longer bound by emotional reactions that can cloud and constrict your vision. sadhguru goes into detail about how the most common and typically the first reaction that occurs through life is anger. and anger is only self-defeating.  the actions that were derived from a reaction of anger are typically the most “idiotic and life negative things.” i think if you consciously look back on your life and recall the times you responded with anger to a moment in your life, it was not freeing, but restricting. sadhguru goes on to discuss how perceiving responsibility in this manner naturally begins to lead us to another word: love. i could be wrong, but i think everyone i could encounter and ask would say they want to be a loving person. easier said than done right? sometimes trying to become a loving person can be extremely hard and even come across pretentious. in fact, it seems easier to not love at all then to try to become loving.  but this is because we have limited our responsibility. we have put up walls and borders around what situations we control our response to. becoming a loving person, does not involve putting up walls, shutting doors, or drawing boundaries. becoming a loving person means embracing a willingness to respond freely and openly to the life that happens to and around you. love is not something you do; it is just the way you are.

taking full responsibility of who you are in this moment, for this is the only moment we live in, opens the door to a brighter, more loving future. if you take no responsibility for the present,  you have forsaken your future before it even comes. 


i may have done a terrible job at exploring this idea. it is not one that is simple, or that you can just flip a switch and turn on. like the practice of yoga teaches us, it is exactly that: a practice. something we work on, habitually, consciously, intentionally. it is and will always be a practice for me as well and as in a practice you don’t succeed one hundred percent of the time. a practice is there in place to explore ideas, discover new possibilities, to make mistakes and to learn from them. i highly encourage you, if this has sparked your interest to check out the book “Inner Engineering” to explore more of how you can cultivate a practice full of responsibility and love.







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