How much better everyone would be if they had been taught as children to learn to apologize, acknowledge that they had made a mistake, and to actually state out loud to the other person that they would work to not repeat the same mistake again!
There are folks who apparently never learned this lesson even though they grew beyond being children. We all know people who think they are always right or who are quick to say “you made me act that way” – therefore placing the blame for their actions on someone else.
That is certainly NOT taking personal responsibility for your actions! No one can MAKE you act in an immature manner. Only you can take the responsibility for having done that. And you should take responsibility for your actions! Personal responsibility is one of the first tenets of Spiritualism! That is the reason we do not accept Jesus as our SAVIOR. We do not accept Vicarious Atonement which is one of the basic beliefs of Christianity and other religions.
How many marriages or other relationships in families or work situations have been sundered because one person or the other has not been able to take responsibility for their own actions? Why do we continue to hurt other people’s feelings because we have not grown up having been taught to take responsibility for our own actions?
Why is it so difficult to admit we are simply wrong, own up to our mistakes, apologize sincerely and attempt to do better in the future?
It certainly does not mean shouting in an argument and then pouting afterward with the “silent treatment.” That is basically acting on the level of a kindergarten aged child!
Mature adults learn to work together, talk things though without screaming and rancor, adjust their viewpoints to acknowledge the other person and give them and their feelings validity. That is supposed to be a “for granted” response in an adult relationship!
Sometimes it may be necessary to take a walk or run through a park while you think things through, calm yourself down and get in touch with your own real feelings. Remember what it was that attracted you to the person in the first place and how fervently you desired to spend the rest of your life with that person or on that job. Reassess the situation and discover where you made the mistake! Give the other person credit for their abilities of continuing to be able to love you or work with you when you have been so imperfect!
Then with a fresh perspective, go back and actually say out loud to that person “I am sorry, I was wrong. You didn’t make me act that way, I lost it all by myself. Please let’s work this out together.”
That reinforces that you do actually care about the feelings of the other person. It may take them so off guard from your normal response that they, too, can admit they may have been off target with their accusations or actions.
Working together, learning to compromise, and attempting to adjust your behavior in future situations – which will demonstrate your willingness to change for the better – will always benefit your relationships. It is also a lesson in soul growth.
Infinite Spirit does not dump us when we are wrong. We have always been taught that God loves us regardless of our imperfections. Remember the parable of the two sons, one who strayed away while the other stayed home and worked in the fields with his father. When the errant son returned home the father killed and roasted the fatted calf in joy for the return of his prodigal son. (Luke 15: 11-32.)
Remember that as Spiritualists we not only profess Personal Responsibility but try diligently to live in that manner; this is what differentiates us from other religions! We do not expect someone else to “take the heat” for our actions. We follow the teachings of the Master Teacher Jesus and try to demonstrate our ability to love and forgive.
When we follow the Declarations of Principles, we see this parable played out in both numbers 7 and 8.
Take responsibility for your actions, strive to make positive changes in the way you handle things. Spirit will always assist you when you are working toward following Natural Law and life does indeed become easier.
Again, we do not have the right to denigrate others, we only have the right to change ourselves and the way we handle things! Strive to become your highest and best self and to forgive as you wish to be forgiven. (Principle Number 6).
That is the way of Spiritualism, learn to do unto others as you would like to be treated. Respect, forgive and love them as you should also respect – and love and forgive – yourself!