Predominant issues show up in my readings and they provide the inspiration for the articles I write and for my show. Recently, obligation, mainly in regard to family, has been a prevailing theme and it is an important one to talk about. If you are one of my 12Listen clients you received a portion of this article in an email from me. This is an expanded version of that information.

How many times have we done something out of a sense of obligation and then regretted it? We really did not want to do it in the first place but felt we had to and possibly the response we got for our noble deed was less than appreciative. So there is a double whammy – “I really didn’t want to do that, but I did, and the other person didn’t ever care”.   Wow! That’s fuel for an ongoing mental conversation that can take you right down the rabbit hole to resentment. And I think a lot of us can relate to it. So let’s take an objective, empowering look at it.

One definition of Obligation is: The state, fact, or feeling of being indebted to another for a special service or favor received.

I find that definition very interesting especially when you put it in the context of family. Our Higher Self, chose the family, or lack thereof that we would be born into when IT chose to incarnate. IT knew what it was coming to work on and IT chose them because they would offer the greatest opportunity for growth – period! THIS WAS NOT AN EMOTIONAL CHOICE, IT WAS A PRACTICAL CHOICE AND IT WAS A SPIRITUAL AGREEMENT AMONG ALL CONCERNED. I think if we can detach from the Hallmark card idea of family and look at it spiritually and practically we would find a whole lot more value in those relationships whether they were “good” or “not so good”. It’s all perception, anyway. And we can maybe move past that feeling of being indebted to another and instead adopt the attitude “I owe no man anything but love”. If you look at this through a detached neutral lens; the idea of being indebted is out of the equation and you can use Love as the motivation to do what you have to do. Not emotional love but divine love – self-directed.

Motivation or attitude underlies every action we take including fulfilling our perceived obligations. It is the foundation for the outcome of our actions. It is not what you do so much as the motivation behind what you do – that’s the seed that is planted and that is what will show itself as the return. Obligation is typically not a happy seed unless you can make it that. You can change your experience by working from the silent and powerful place of sending love and calling forth the divine in the other person. And remembering that everything you do is for you. So if you are filled with regret or dread that is the seed you are planting, regardless of the “good” deed that you are doing, and that is the experience it will yield. And that has nothing to do with the other person or people involved or the situation. Your first “obligation” is to yourself.

Wallace Wattles says;

“Get rid of the idea that God wants you to sacrifice yourself for others, that you can secure his favor by doing so. God requires nothing of the kind.
What he wants is that you should make the most of yourself – for yourself, and for others. And, you can help others more by making the most of yourself than in any other way.”

There are a couple of other things that come into play when we are considering obligation. I think the primary concern around not fulfilling your perceived obligations is that you will feel guilty if you don’t. Guilt is useless. Remember there are two or more people involved here – in spirit to spirit agreements – guilt means that you are taking ALL of the responsibility for the situation and negating the other person’s power. We pull to ourselves opportunities to grow and they may be rough but in every one we have the choice to either be buried by them or to transcend them, and if we choose to transcend them we have an experience of our innate power and out of respect we really should not deny anyone else that experience. Another concern is what will other people think of me if I don’t do this? They will think what they think and honestly it has nothing to do with you. Everyone processes everything through their “pictures” or filters based on their memories and experiences. That is where judgment and opinion comes from and anyone else’s opinion of you has nothing to do with you.

The following is from Ervin Seale’s Take Off From Within:

“The undeveloped ego feels naked and strives for a sense of self-importance. When we are not Self-Conscious we are self-conscious. All the egotistical thrusting forward of the self for position, fame, and honor are meager confessions that “I am not all here”. This observation brings us back to how we humans generally take ourselves much too seriously, having our focus on the outside rather than on the inside.

Great souls, however will observe that in not taking your human self too seriously you are taking your divine self more seriously. You are considering your spiritual prerogatives and qualities and options and capacities more, and in doing so you are getting outside your personal self and viewing it more objectively, and that means less emotionally, which means, in turn less vulnerably. For we hurt only when we are identified with littleness, and we are immune to the degree that we are identified with largeness.

Correlative to this taking oneself to seriously is the bad habit of taking things too personally. Many are always reacting emotionally or taking personally events and situations which are wholly impersonal. Such people are overinvolved; they are too attached, and their feelings have become the prisoners of events. They have not yet learned to stand outside the situation and look at it as a beholder only and not from the angle of a pea in the soup.

So the opposite of all this personal involvement is the detachment of what we are calling the “bystanding” mind. This does not imply withdrawal, but rather that we seek to be participants with control. To be a bystander or a beholder, one must stand outside every situation and view it objectively or unemotionally. Why be “livid” at another’s remark? Does what he says contribute to your success or failure in any way at all? Yes, he may delude some into thinking ill of you, but does their opinion really make it so? What governs you – your belief or another’s? Is the creative cause in another and not in you? Are not all men of one Source, therefore sharing the same nature? Why should you make yourself subject to another man’s thought? You do it, if you do, only because you have not yet sufficiently respected your own thought. If you knew what thought is , how divine it is , how magical it is, how powerful it is , and if you knew that only your own thought governs you, and not another’s, then you would stand up tall and straight and strong in this conviction and fear no other. Another’s thought about you has no power until it becomes your thought.”

We all have things to do that we don’t necessarily want to do but by consciously being aware that everything you do is for you, that you will see its reflection in your life, makes it much easier to make your motivation love regardless of what you have to do.

It is not the thing that happens to you but your response to the thing that happens to you that determines your happiness or lack thereof. When your motivation is love you are doing what you do to expand yourself – not for the response from the other person. No matter what that response is, you are fulfilled because you are planting the seeds of love and that is what you will yield and not necessarily from that person. Consider them the vehicle for your expansion. It is not what you do but the attitude in which you do it or the motivation that underlies it that will bring you happiness. It’s all about you!

The above is an excerpt from the 6/17/14 episode of Empowerment – you can find it in the archives at 12Radio(dot)com.