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Excerpted from The Power Is Within You by Louise Hay. Copyright © 1991 by Louise Hay. Excerpted by permission of Hay House, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"Responsibility is our ability to respond to a situation. We always have a choice."

Louise HayThe Power Is Within You, Part 2

Responsibility Vs. Blame

I also believe that we contribute toward the creation of every condition in our lives, good or bad, with our thinking, feeling patterns. The thoughts we think create our feelings, and we then begin to live our lives in accordance with these feelings and beliefs. This is not to blame our-selves for things going wrong in our lives. There is a difference between being responsible and blaming ourselves or others.

When I talk about responsibility, I am really talking about having power. Blame is about giving away one's power. Responsibility gives us the power to make changes in our lives. If we play the victim role, then we are using our personal power to be helpless. If we decide to accept responsibility then we don't waste time blaming somebody or something out there. Some people feel guilty for creating illness, or poverty, or problems. They choose to interpret responsibility as guilt. (Some members of the media like to refer to it as New Age Guilt.) These people feel guilty because they believe that they have failed in some way. However, they usually accept everything as a guilt trip in one way or another because it's another way to make themselves wrong. That is not what I’m talking about.

If we can use our problems and illnesses as opportunities to think about how we can change our lives, we have power. Many people who come through catastrophic illness say that it was the most wonderful thing that ever happened to them because it gave them a chance to go about their lives differently. A lot of people, on the other hand, go around saying, "I'm a victim, woe is me. Please…doctor, fix me." I think these people will have a difficult time even getting well or handling their problems.

Responsibility is our ability to respond to a situation. We always have a choice. It does not mean that we deny who we are and what we have in our lives. It merely means that we can acknowledge that we have contributed to where we are. By taking responsibility, we have the power to change. We can say, "What can I do to make this different?" We need to understand that we all have personal power all the time. It depends on how we use it.

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