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  • Writer's picturesusanletourneau

On Being Responsible

Updated: Sep 2, 2019

There was a period of time when Leanne Dalderis and I facilitated seminars together. The first one of these was a weekend retreat for which 30 participants had signed up. I think we called it "Opening to Nurturing" and it was all about how to look after yourself. We wanted all our participants to feel comfortable and felt responsible for making that happen. The venue was a rustic hostel of sorts in the mountains, comfortable and cozy, but did not include chamber maids. The first thing Leanne and I did was to make up 30 beds and put out towels and soaps etc. We set out books and course materials and an altar in the center of the session room. By the time we finished all this set up it was midnight, we were exhausted and needed to be up early to greet our participants. The retreat hadn't even begun and we were already tired! We sat down with the Guides to do a debriefing, and they laughingly talked to us about responsibility, saying we both suffered from "responsibilityitis". They said we needed to be part of any course we offered rather than setting ourselves apart. If the theme was nurturing, we needed to experience nurturing as well as the participants. They pointed out that our participants would have been happy to make up their own beds and organize their own toiletries etc. We did not need to do that in order for them to feel cared for but we had expectations of ourselves to live up to. We were not in the flow, not in the moment and not coming from a centered place. We were all about expectations and responsibility. They went on to say that being responsible has its basis in reaction and made us dependent on something outside of us. They said being responsible separated us from what we had taken responsibility for, which therefore came ahead of peace. Alternatively, we could choose peace within, and in that place of peace everything that we wanted to see accomplished would be accomplished.

They said we had put our sense of responsibility ahead of peace, and by doing so we were now projecting tension rather than the nurturing energy we were hoping to share. They asked us to give everything we thought we were responsible for to the Holy Spirit and watch how all connections and all commitments would be accomplished.

The Guides explained that whatever we felt responsible for would take us away from the moment. If we felt responsible for creating peace, we would have none. If we decided for peace, it would be given to us. They said miracles happen when you choose peace.

They suggested we not even feel responsible for having willingness to choose peace but to simply ask and it would be given.

"If you are coming from peace, if you are with peace, the outside no longer becomes the focal point, for it is seen that there is no outside, there is no separation."

Armed with this point of view, Leanne and I became receptive to the idea of nurturing flowing through us rather than us being responsible to create it. In doing so, we were choosing to make peace the priority which then became the theme and primary experience of the weekend. Over the years, although I frequently forget and regularly stumble, I have retained that understanding.

~ Susan Letourneau ~

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