Creating Powerful Partnerships – Part 4: Practicing Radical Personal Responsibility
Assuming radical personal responsibility is like accepting a mantle of spiritual power and wisdom. It elevates you to the understanding that you are not a victim of life, your life and your partnerships don’t happen to you. Your partnerships are a reflection of your own consciousness.
Your thoughts, beliefs, feelings, attitudes and behaviors are creative factors in your life. If you will assume responsibility for the quality of those factors you can also assume responsibility for the results. That means you can have some creative control over the quality of your life and relationships.
You can be the author of your own experience. We call it radical because it is so uncommon in our culture. It represents a paradigm shift, a radical shift in your understanding of how things actually work to create your experience of reality.
This power comes with a price tag though. The price is giving up blame. Blame, you know that addictive elixir we gulp down in excess when people won’t do what we want them to do. Blame is most difficult to let go of when we are having an upset with someone.
Now, here is something that is very important to understand. Upsets, disagreements, misunderstandings, miscommunications and breakdowns are inevitable, predictable and unavoidable in your partnerships. Now, why in the world would we say something like that? What about positive thinking?
Just look into your own experience. Haven’t you had upsets and disagreements despite your best intentions and despite your positive thinking? Unfortunately, good intentions and positive thinking are not enough to avoid or prevent upsets and misunderstandings.
They are a fact of life in human relationships at this stage of our evolutionary development. What is really required is a new way of interpreting these events. And that requires the knowledge and skill necessary to truly use them as opportunities for healing and spiritual growth.
It is extremely important to have a mutually agreed upon, pre-determined means for handling disagreements before they occur. If you wait until after you are upset or angry with one another to figure out how you are going to resolve it, you are setting yourself up for difficulty.
It’s kind of like a novice skydiver trying to learn the best way of landing after they have already jumped out of the plane. Poor planning in that instance is sure to end in a bumpy landing. Luckily you don’t have to re-invent the wheel. There are a variety of conflict resolution techniques you can employ.
We share one that we have perfected over the years, called the Conscious Upset Resolution Exercise (CURE), in our best selling book; You’re Never Upset for the Reason You Think. You may learn more about it in our website bookstore. The most important thing is to agree on the method you will use, before you need it.