Responsibility in life’s kitchen
Responsibility is something I thought I lived and breathed, but in reality it was something that I knew very little about. From an early age my family instilled in me the importance of looking after yourself, cleaning up, being honest, being punctual, being diligent, being nice to others and being community minded. All of these I would not fault, and all of these were important to learning and life. Yet none of them are the responsibility I live today.
Imagine a child cooking in a kitchen and making an absolute mess of bench tops, sink, pots and pans. They are so engrossed in what they are cooking and so proud of their creation that they don’t even stop to think about the mess they leave behind, because all they can see is their dish in front of them.
You would never want to shame or discourage that child from the fact that they have taken an interest in cooking, but at some stage it becomes incumbent on the parent to show the child that there is more to cooking than the final plate of food. Indeed, if that child was in fact an adult and cooking in your house, your tolerance for the mess they leave may not be the same, because the level of responsibility that is possible is so far from the level of responsibility lived.
That is how I now feel about the responsibility I used to live.
The Way of The Livingness sees the whole world as a kitchen and humans as cooks that can become so enamoured and excited by what we are able to create that we ignore the fact of the mess that we leave behind. Yet we share this kitchen with everyone.
When you look at the levels of greed, corruption, abuse, violence, disease, mental illness, guilt, jealousy, road rage and manipulation of all kinds, we as the collective ‘cooks’ in the kitchen of life are leaving a mess that we seem to simply shrug our shoulders at and say that it is the ‘human condition’.
Of course, some pretend to not see the mess, or think their part of the bench is clean, so they are not part of creating it; some people seem to take great pleasure in actively creating the mess and some fight tooth and nail that the mess is what makes life worth living.
It makes no sense, when expressed in that way, but only because we have not understood what the mess really is. So, what is the mess? It is the energetic imprint that we leave behind. It is something that can leave a stain on ourselves, other people, objects and the earth, for lifetimes.
The Way of The Livingness introduced me to the concept and primacy of energetic responsibility. The fact that everything starts and ends with some kind of energetic outplay and that our primary responsibility is to understand these imprints we leave behind and to be responsible for their energetic quality.
Have we made a dish called ‘relationships’ and imprinted that with expectations, ideals and conditions, or has our every move been one of transparency, decency and love?
Have we made a dish called ‘career’ and imprinted that with self-interest, security and identification, or have we made work, any work, about what others truly need?
Energetic responsibility is about first connecting with what a ‘clean kitchen’ feels and looks like. For example, imagine you connected deeply to your own inner sense of love, truth, harmony, joy and stillness… imagine the combined power of each of those words flowing together and then set that feeling as your benchmark for a ‘clean life’.
Then look around you – what mess can you see?
The beauty about energetic responsibility is that it doesn’t play ball with guilt about the mess, it doesn’t play ball with an impassioned drive to ‘clean up’ the mess and it doesn’t really care about what the meal looks or tastes like, because looks and taste can be deceiving.
Being honest, being punctual, being diligent and being community minded are all admirable qualities, but without our responsibility to be energetically clean with how we do those things, we will forever be leaving a mess to clean up.