Things are quiet at home, organized chaos is the norm now that my eldest is back from college, and the end of school is near for my younger children. I’ve been walking every day, eating healthy and quite often am joined by one or more close friends. During these walks we talk about our kids, our home lives, our past, and there’s always one recurring theme that happens to also be my favorite word: accountability.
I am a sincere believer that many problems whether it is in a friendship, a marriage, a divorce, or problems at school, are compounded by a lack of accountability. By the same token, happiness in our lives and relationships increase when we are accountable for our actions. I just love that word.
As I write this I am devastated for a sweet friend. I know this wonderful, strong, resilient wife and mother. She’s someone who I really look up to. She has been betrayed and is so very hurt. But that is not why I’m so angry. I’m angry because the person who betrayed her trust is so busy justifying their selfish despicable actions, in such a manner, that it’s like a battering ram hitting her over and over and over. Thank God she is strong enough to see these words and excuses for what they are, a complete lack of accountability and an act of cowardice. She is however, human, and she has a heart that is fragile and is shattered. Knowing intellectually that the words thrown at her are untrue is different from what the heart whispers in her ear.
I’ve been in her shoes. I’ve been told that the reason I was betrayed was because I wasn’t pretty enough, wasn’t thin enough, wasn’t smart enough. I was told that I didn’t cook enough, clean enough and I was just not good enough. I believed those lies for a while until several walks on the beach and very deep soul-searching helped me reveal the truth. Those excuses were the hiding place of someone who refused to be accountable. Those excuses represented someone else’s insecurities. Once I realized that and took accountability for my own life, things changed for the better.
Accountability is strength and love. When someone refuses to be accountable for their actions it is because they live in fear, they live in the world of selfishness, and the world of insecurity. They are the ones that are in bondage, not you. The above example is an extreme one, but every day our lives present moments where we must choose to be honest and accountable or choose to hide and justify the moments we are not proud of.
What about your accountability? Even the most difficult of situations can be viewed from more than one vantage point. For me, I had to hold myself accountable for exposing myself to a person I knew was not good for me. My sweet friend felt the same way, even though she is faced with a painful situation she has the wisdom to understand her part in the journey she is on.
I think it’s healthy to take a moment and think about a difficult situation in your life. How have you contributed to this situation? What role did you play? In the end the only person you can control or truly influence is yourself. If you change one thing to make that situation better, one thing that you can control, what would it be? These are important questions.
If your child hurts another child’s feelings you make them apologize. Do you apologize when you hurt a friend? If your child is hanging out with the wrong crowd you tell them to stay away from them. Do you stay away from people who hurt you or do you keep charging in? Are you not only accountable to others but to yourself? Accountability is a daily practice and it is a way of life. It is the secret to not holding negative thoughts and feelings inside of your heart.
The picture above was posted on Facebook this week. “Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone needs to be.” I put that picture in this post because I believe that when you have a backbone you also have strength and accountability. You are brave when you are accountable. You have the power to change and the power and strength to pick yourself up. Wishing things were different won’t work. You need to make it happen. You need to take charge and be accountable.
I love you sweet friend. You know who you are. Your sister friends are here, we know the truth and we have your back. You are beautiful, you are strong, you are wise and you are true. Onward!