The present course of my thoughts requires that I take responsibility for everything that I do and have done. I must accept the consequences of all my actions, and the fact that they have caused pain to others. When I look at the world around me, I must know that I have built that world – whether by action or inaction – and that no one can be blamed or pointed to as having constructed it but me.
I’m not sure how anything I’ve said leads to the possibility of hiding from myself. Right now I hear your pain, and I know that I have caused it by writing things you find uncomfortable. Even if I did not know at first that my words would have that affect, yet I am responsible even for the unknown effects of my actions. There is no one else to direct the blame to.
It is at this point that you have the freedom to respond. You can choose to continue writing, or abandon association, or tell me what a fool I am. But what you cannot do is expect me to obey your idea of what I should do or be. We each control one destiny only, and that is our own. Once you have decided to act or not to act, you must accept the world that results. If we think that the world somehow accumulates a debt to us, that it must pay back at some point in the future, we are only gathering the fragments of our broken hearts into a pool of misery.
I could feel pain too at what was said. However, I do not. I cannot. I do not hold you accountable any longer for anything that you did or did not do. The moment has passed, and my choice to respond is over. I recognize now, that I love your freedom to hurt me more than I wish you to behave in a particular way. Because that freedom is what it means to be human, and I am now a lover of human nature.
So you can turn everything I’m saying around and discover that there cannot live inside me anymore the least suggestion of blame, fault-finding, anger, or criticism of you. Until now there has been anger; I’ve felt there were injustices: but that came from feeling there was some higher ideal you were supposed to adhere to – in effect, release your freedom to – and I felt cheated that the ideal had not delivered on its promise.
For at each moment we are a new being. Once we have suffered the consequences of our actions – be they good or ill – justice is complete, and the future becomes a new slate. You can take what I’m saying one of two ways: As relating only to me as an individual, or as relating to what it means to be human. I am not thinking these things in order to escape from the past; I am not thinking about my past at all, except to see the ways in which I have hid from responsibility.
I have put before me two ideas only: That we are free, and that human nature is glorious. My past two weeks have been spent looking at what follows from these two premises.