One of the most difficult aspects of accepting personal responsibility for choice is that it goes against most of our lifelong behaviors of imprinting and conditioning. While it’s difficult for fully functioning and apparently balanced adults to accept personal responsibility, it’s far more difficult to “grant” it to those who are obviously impaired. Impairment can be as simple as easily agitated or emotionally reactive, to a number of addictions, to various sociopathic or psychopathic conditions, to a range of conditions from autism to bi-polarism, to outright mentally subnormal, to physical disabilities, to disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. We all know of at least ONE person whom we struggle to grant full choice to. We put them in some category of “special.” In fact, I hazard a guess, that we put more people into a category of special than we actually deem competent enough to be in charge of their own choices.
It starts with ourselves. For a simple set of definitions from Michael, here’s a quote from an OMW Workshop from last November (subscription only):
We will define SPECIAL as “being dependent upon external feedback for one’s sense of identity, importance, and/or purpose”
We will define UNIQUE as “that which is already truthful, loving, and beautiful about you that is independent of everything, even you.”
Specialness is almost always dependent upon dishonesty, conditions, and manipulation.
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We mention this because YOU are the first line of contact that is made as your Special or Unique Self, and if you are able to differentiate, it is much easier then to manage the differentiation in other contexts.
The reason one might prefer to embrace Uniqueness over Specialness is because the effect of doing so is liberating, stabilizing, and comforting. It means that when you are alone, you are just as YOU as when you are with others.
Uniqueness is easy to love, and when you embrace your Uniqueness, you are loved “no matter what.” You are loved when alone, when with others, and even in the middle of difficulties. The love is unshakeable because it is not dependent upon anything. It simply IS.
Uniqueness is easy to understand, and when you embrace your Uniqueness, you can be honest and truthful “no matter what.” The truth becomes something that does not change when alone, when with others, or even in the middle of difficulties.
That is because embracing Uniqueness means that you begin to align with higher truths, rather than with conflicting personal truths.
Higher truths are always easier to understand because they INCLUDE the conflicting personal truths, and does not require that one be truer over another.
In other words, Uniqueness loses the interest and investment in being “right,” because identity is no longer tied to that as a form of validation.
Uniqueness also loses the avoidance of being “wrong.” This is because when you have embraced your Uniqueness, you are more capable of seeing and embracing other peoples’ Uniqueness, even if they have not.
Through the embrace of your own and others’ Uniqueness, it allows you to take responsibility when you are legitimately “wrong,” but also to see that two conflicting personal truths are not always indicative of wrong and right, but of Unique perspectives.
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You may find that you actually prefer the struggle and effort to ensure your Specialness over embracing your Uniqueness, and that would be a valid choice.
It is no different from your deciding to eat junk food over healthy, nutritional food.
Sometimes it just feels good to do so.
However, as with junk food, seeking Specialness is not “good” for you, even if it feels good.
Junk food, as with Specialness, are not things to avoid in life, but to allow as treats, for fun, or as superfical rewards that are not invested in.
Again, we remind you that these terms are part of a SPECTRUM. That means you have a wide range of ratio that can be played with, and for some of you, it may be a 50/50 ratio that makes you happy, while for others it is a 20/80 or 80/20.
Since not everyone who will read this will be willing to sign up for a subscription, I was a little extra “quoty.”
The point is that we’re all prone to wanting to feel special, rather than unique. Beyond that, we’re willing to grand specialness to others with equal hand-waving aplomb — others can be genius, extraordinary, blighted, challenged, or any number of categories that put them beyond the pale of simply unique and most especially beyond the pale of choice-making. Perhaps, to start, it’s important to reassign specialness to uniqueness on fairly minor or unimportant conditions–ordinary everyday habits that most of us are prone to, such as losing one’s temper, or being judgmental, or assigning blame. Excuses. Oh yes, excuses. Any of 10,000 ways we either excuse someone else’s behavior or excuse our own. He didn’t MEAN to burn down the church, he had a rough childhood. He doesn’t want to be a homeless inebriate, he’s a Viet Nam vet. I didn’t mean to beat my child senseless, that’s the way I was raised.
The issue in learning to accept choice as being a valid personal point of reference is that it sets aside all of the excuses that we depend on to cover up our fears and denials of personal value. Learning to accept that each person, including ourselves, is a unique lifetime and personality, a unique experience just for Essence’s evolution and growth, is key to it. We ARE Essence in the flesh doing the heavy lifting of learning what it is to be a physical being, which includes all of the messiness of being quite a bit less than “perfect.” Essence cannot grow unless we experience.
I know how profound it is to accept the totality of oneself. That feeling that EVERYTHING that I’ve ever done was of equal value and has no measurement in terms of my worth. Every single one of my so-called mistakes has more value than my successes, as it was the mistakes that allowed for the growth to BECOME a success. I hate to be the bearer of unfortunate news, but there isn’t one of us who learned to tie our shoes the first time we tried it. There are some who still prefer velcro tabs. Once I mastered tying my shoes, it ceased to have any importance other than as a useful daily skill. Everything about one’s life is similar. Keep trying and eventually, you’ll master it. Even if you stop trying, it doesn’t matter to Essence. This is a choice that you’re making that will lead you down the path to new choices.
The only measurement of a choice that matters to the self is “does it bring me joy or suffering?” It’s up to you to decide which you prefer. Does it make me all riled up and upset or does it just give me a smile? Why does something that happens half a world away matter to me? If it does, what am I doing about it? Does me doing something about it bring me joy or suffering?
Choice runs up against our imprinting about “being selfish.” Yes. It IS about being SELF-ish. Recognizing that it is to self that one is going to measure happiness or unhappiness. Similarly, looking outwardly, each other person is a SELF with an Essence. Each is here for the experience. Not YOUR choice of experiences, but theirs. Some will starve to death in Somalia this year. Some will receive famine relief and live for awhile longer. One might survive to become a warlord who kills thousands. One orphan might be adopted and become a doctor who goes on to save thousands of lives. Who knows? Yet, I can pretty well guarantee that EVERY one of those lives will be an experience for their Essence and will eventually die, no matter what. Each will be a unique life.