Has it hit you yet?
That epiphany moment when you realise that all the thoughts and feels you have about the past, present and future, all the hurt, doubt, fear, love, smiles, ups and downs – it’s all on you, and only you are accountable for seeing and choosing things differently.
Has it truly hit you, or do you still find ways to pin it on something or someone else?
Nobody’s here to save us. Nobody’s here to replace the care-giver(s) that didn’t do right by us all the way through, with the love, support, lessons and tools we need. Nobody’s here to undo the experiences that shatter confidence, innocence, trust or sense of self, nor heal the hurt suffered in them. Nobody’s here to fix it, to give us everything we want or need.
And you know what? It’s not up to anyone else either, not their responsibility. It’s an unreasonable expectation to think otherwise, one that sets us up for patterns of disappointment and self-sabotage. Others can help, of course, and they do.
We can hope, dream, expect and blame rather than accepting that we’re accountable for everything us. Even the smallest of smalls we can consciously or otherwise deflect. Sometimes; ‘I didn’t do anything wrong’ is what we’re doing wrong.
The uncomfortable truth is that we have a finite amount of time to find a way to know and accept ourselves, and the fact that we are the only ones who can do that for us. We’re the wardens of our own prisons. The guardians of our own hearts. The parent to our inner child. We’re the ones responsible for us. For becoming more aware, more loving, for understanding, healing, challenging and evolving the person we want to be, owning the shit out of the what, why and how we think, feel and operate as a human being.
That responsibility is ours, for the benefit of us, and our part in the collective species. From our nearest and dearest to our colleagues and the strangers we meet along life’s way. It’s up to us to be the same version of us in all of life’s arenas as best we can, and make sure that version of us is actually who we believe ourselves to be.
To be authentically and wholeheartedly us.
On the surface it’s simple; as living, breathing adult humans we are accountable – for how we choose to live, what and how we choose to say and do, and of course when we choose not to. We’re accountable for how we treat people (inc. ourselves). We’re accountable because the power of choice negates excuse.
This is my dance (responsibility) space, this is your dance (responsibility) space.
Being accountable is harder under the influence of trauma. Three’s a crowd. It weighs heavy on our emotions with a sense of justification. When we encounter things that grate or tickle our most sensitive emotions, we’re transported back and can easily be directed by past trauma rather than our true self and the present – our perception shifts, as does our decision making.
It’s a deeply unconscious state of survival so it’s hard to see and think straight when we’re triggered. Raising our awareness and becoming more conscious of it is vital to us having a life above it.
To blame is easy – something we naturally feel entitled to when we hurt. But ‘entitlement’ is trauma, what we can do instead is assign accountability correctly. It’s a different ball game and requires awareness and action – by us. When we don’t act, blame takes hold, muddying our role, our accountability, perception and choices we now make in the aftermath – our responsibility in how something impacts us and how we then impact those around us.
If we don’t or have no way of holding people to account, we’re left to deal with the emotions. Retaining the burden of trauma. We can end up blaming ourselves, something that inevitably projects outwards as much as it does inwards, causing all manner of alters and barriers to our true self and our relationships with others.
We’re never to blame for other peoples choices. We never choose nor expect to be harmed in any way.
Sure, blame is easy, it feels safe. It’s a defence mechanism. But we can’t avoid accountability forever. At some point self-love or the love of others will inspire us to chuck a stick into the cycle of trauma and flip its script.
It’s on us to recognise and accept loves challenge.
We get to choose, to decide, to define, to do and to be whomever we want. We also get to blame. Which may feel good, feel right, but is actually what blocks our personal growth.
We can make excuses for why we don’t, why we avoid, why we rely on hope and expectation, on others, but we cannot escape the fact that we’re accountable, just as much as everyone else is.
It’s all about us. That doesn’t mean to be individualistic, selfish, narcissistic…it simply means we need to own our shit. To ditch blame. To evolve our thinking from black and white to colourful, from rigid to relaxed, from closed to open, from denial to introspection, from avoidance to acceptance – from blame to accountability.
We can easily turn a blind eye to our responsibility, misaligning ourselves with our values and what we stand for, disconnecting from who we are and the self-worth we possess. Trauma is the biggest culprit, our hurt makes it easy to choose blame instead. Because where there’s hurt there’s naturally resentment and suffering. ‘Where there’s blame there’s a claim’ – shit that we did not want, ask for or have any control over.
That ‘blame’ is accountability not being assigned to or accepted by the person or thing that had a negative impact on us. And so we’re left carrying that ourselves, feeling invalidated and hurt. If we don’t hold people to account, it will haunt us until we do.
The haunt is our struggle with any emotions about what happened and those who were accountable. The fact is, some people struggle to accept accountability for their actions, admit fault and will therefore give back to us the hurt and pain of their actions to deal with. This is something we may find ourselves needing to accept in life.
We can rightly blame for a while, but we’ll inevitably get to the point where we realise the impact that is having on us and how we live in the world around us is something we’re accountable for. We will need to act in order to grow through our pain and reconnect to who we truly are beneath it.
We can do so by validating ourselves, and stop waiting for someone else to do it for us.
Sometimes there’s nowhere for accountability to go. Death for example is inevitable, out of our control, as are certain circumstances, events, accidents…in those moments there can be nobody to blame or hold to account, which leaves us completely at the mercy of it ourselves.
The same can apply to people. Human nature doesn’t always rush to hold its hands up and accept responsibility.
What do we do with that? We’re not accountable, not to blame, but often find it thrust upon us anyway. When accountability isn’t assigned to its rightful place or has nowhere to go, it becomes our burden whether we like it or not. For whatever reason, the ship of ‘owning it’ has sailed and has anchored in our dock.
All we have now are the uncomfortable processes of grief, acceptance, forgiveness and healing to work through. Somehow finding a way to manage the fallout, the impact on us, how it manifests in our minds and our outward existence. Regardless of the fact that what came to be had nothing to do with us.
‘Moving on’, ‘Letting go’, ‘Healing’…whatever you call it, it takes time. Years maybe, perhaps even a lifetime. Because once something happens, it can’t unhappen, so one way or another we now live with it every day until we pop-our-clogs. ‘That’s life’ right? Sure, thanks life. Whilst we can’t rush to some brighter point in our journey through the shitstorm, we also can’t ignore it. Can’t escape it. Our minds, our hearts won’t allow it.
At some point we find ourselves needing to accept the call of our inner self to do whatever it takes to be us again. Realising that as much as others can help out, only we can do the hardest shit.
And we have to. We have to live. We have to keep going. For ourselves and everyone who loves (and ever loved) us. Every soul that’s touched ours wills us back into existence beyond our pain. Beyond the currency of blame and self-sabotage.
Back to our true self, a self that will never be the same, but a self that doesn’t have to carry the full weight of trauma any longer. Regardless of where it belongs we’re all accountable, there’s no escaping it.
Try as we might.
Accountability starts and ends with us.
This can be hard to accept. Especially in the turmoil of our traumatic minds as we surf the waves of our fragility during intense emotional moments. But equally, in the downtime of our quiet rumination. Both scenarios challenge our truth.
Observing ourselves in this moments, being aware of and accountable for how perception influences our thoughts, words and actions can be a challenge. But how? How can we be fair and just when our emotions are pulling us in the direction of blame in order to preserve our ego’s truth?
We can step away from that truth. As unnatural, uncomfortable and anti-the-right-thing-to-do (for us) that feels, it’s the only way we’re able to view any moment, situation, conversation or difference from a neutral point of view. You may think a neutral point of view is not the goal, but that’s ego tripping. Neutral is where we find empathy. It’s where we’re open minded, where our intentions become equal in nature, considerate of both our own and someone else’s truth.
Think about it. This neutral place is the friend, parent or partner we turn to when we need to feel unconditional love. It’s the counsellor we talk to to help make sense of how we feel, free from judgment. It’s where we go when we need reassurance, empathy and brutal truth in equal measure.
But our friends, parents, partners, therapist…they can’t be there all the time. We’re not children, we’re not incapable, we’re human beings. We’re responsible for finding this place of empathy, honesty and unconditional love within ourselves, so we can navigate life and find trust and contentment in self.
We all can, if we want to. We keep trying, keep going, until it becomes easier, more natural.
It’s not about shifting our
Who are you and what do you want? Go.
Monsters often talk about looking in the mirror, because that’s the responsible thing to do. To challenge ourselves, have the difficult conversations with ourselves, face and own our own shit – be accountable for us and our existence – what we say, what we do and how we think (and how our subconscious thinks).
But it’s not all about us. We also need to hold the mirror up to those around us, not by reflecting them in our own words, actions and behaviours. No. By speaking our truth. By challenging people to hold their own mirror up.
Why? Because it matters. It matters to them in the same way it does us. We hold people to account for their benefit and our own self-worth; in the boundaries we set and reinforce. In the needs we express and wants we ask for. In the love, empathy, kindness, understanding and respect we have for ourselves.
Those same things need to be reflected in how we challenge others to grab the mirror and take a good hard look at themselves.
It isn’t always pretty. Observing self, recognising and acknowledging the dirt that soils us can be unpleasant. It’s easier to avoid and deny it, to pretend it doesn’t matter, that it doesn’t affect self or those around us. But it does and will, until we do the mirror thing. And keep doing it, for the rest of our lives.
Our ability to be accountable is a pivotal aspect of being adults. From how we feel about and treat ourselves to how we feel about and treat others. Not to mention what we project in the world. It’s in every thought, every perception, every conversation, every action. Every relationship we have, every job we undertake, every choice we make.
We can’t carry a full-length mirror around with us, but there are pocket-sized ones, even our phones have a reverse camera function on them. It’s of course not a physical mirror we need to look in, although that is a handy trick if you dare, looking self directly in the eye. It’s all there in depths of our pupils, floating around waiting to have a chat.
The metaphorical mirror is simply our conscience, our sense of doing what matters.
Listening to it. Trusting it. Accepting it. Acting on it.
Accountability touches all aspects of our lives, it’s in how we see things, how we hear things and how we act. With blame in easy reach, it takes awareness, a conscious effort to switch to a more accountable mindset.
But it’s worthwhile, because a more accountable human is a more respectful and loving one, both with ourselves and other human beings – nobody can argue with that (because if they did, it would raise uneasy questions).
If we’re not accountable, all we end up doing is abusing each other.
Accountability can look like keeping our thoughts to ourselves and speaking up. It can look like choosing to respond with kindness and respect in the face of abuse. It can look like choosing not to go because it’s better for our well-being. It can equally look like going, because we know that in doing so we will challenge ourselves, heal some of those wounds, exorcise some of those demons and secure some of those insecurities.
Accountability can look like a sincere apology and change when we mess up. It can look like facing challenges in life instead of avoiding them. It can look like silencing pride, shame and ego by admitting when we’re wrong and where we need to grow. It can look like not needing attention and validation from others. It can look like not trying to prove ourselves to or protect the people who contributed to our broken parts. It can look like reparenting, letting go, honesty, vulnerability and authenticity.
It can look like blurting something out and then asking why? Where did that come from? I don’t believe that so why did I think and then say it?
Accountability is our conscious mind observing and correcting our subconscious one. It’s questioning stuff and answering based on our values not our unconscious past biases, hurt, judgements, fears or traumas.
Being accountable is not only a sure-fire way of being a better us for the greater good of the outside world, but equally, it’s the root to our own growth of self-worth, confidence, happiness, empathy, fulfilment and love.
Knowing our values and living by them is far better for the soul than being a misguided c*nt.
Part of being an accountable human is holding others to account too.
This is us being accountable for our worth, values and what we stand for – setting boundaries to that affect.
By doing so we hold others to account for themselves, for what they bring into our lives, using the same standards we set for ourselves – “You’re welcome here, but this is how I do things, how I treat myself is how I’ll treat you, I need you to respect that if you want to stay. If you don’t, the exit is over there. Thank you.”
This is where we walk the tightrope between self and ego. Why we choose accountability over blame – because if we aren’t looking out for ourselves, living and leading by our own values and principles, we don’t have a leg to stand on. Holding others to account when we don’t ourselves? We quickly become hypocrites, inauthentic, two-faced, unbelievable, untrustworthy…contradicting the very values we claim to stand for. The very person we believe ourselves to be and present to the outside world.
We can’t expect to be respected when ‘do as I say, not as I do’ is an acceptable principle to us. We’ll never be believable as who we are until we’re active in practicing what we preach. We’ll never truly be trusted when our words aren’t backed up by our actions. We’ll never truly be seen and valued for who we are when we adjust that self depending on where we are and who we’re with. We’ll never find peace and happiness until we define our values and start holding ourselves accountable to them, consistently, day in day out as best we can.
In being real, we ask others to do the same.
We cannot expect nor demand, people can refuse, say no, that’s their right as it is ours. We only get to choose how we proceed in life regardless of how others do, using our values as our guide and our well-being as the why. It’s not about ‘them’, it’s about us.
Accountability requires our awareness, trust and commitment to our authentic self. Which includes protecting that self in a mutually respectful and loving way when we cross paths with other human beings doing their best to do the very same thing.
Are you accountable or is it always about you? Always someone else’s fault?
Maturity is about working through our traumas and not using them as an excuse for poor behaviour. As we grow we don’t get to blame our problems on anyone other than ourselves, that’s just how it is, because we know better, we know right from wrong and have a choice in what we say and do (or don’t).
Our life and relationships depend on it. A healthy relationship is two people owning their own shit and coming together to make something wonderful that’s far greater than the sum of its parts; 1+1=3. When we don’t take care of our end, our ‘1’ is passed to someone else to burden, which they won’t accept and we can’t expect from them.
Understanding and working on the things that make us harmful to self and those around us is our responsibility. There are no excuses. Whatever’s happened or not happened in our lives, no matter how shit or horrific it’s been and what that’s done to us, it doesn’t justify passing the hurt, anger and fear we feel (as a result) to other people.
We cannot forgo responsibility and accountability, we cannot deny the fact we have a choice, we cannot ignore our own values and feelings or the values and feelings of those around us. We cannot disregard another human beings right to be treated with love and respect.
We cannot deny, avoid or make excuses for not treating people with those basic needs. “I can’t help it”, “It’s not my fault”, “You don’t understand”, “I don’t remember”, “You’re too sensitive”, “I didn’t do that”, “Nothings ever good enough…” – all examples of bypassing self and reverting to blame.
We cannot expect people to bend and break for us. We cannot expect people to accommodate or accept the parts of us that hurt them. We cannot expect people to bite their tongue, turn a blind eye and not challenge us on our shit when it impacts them and their relationship with us.
We’re ALL accountable for managing how we think, how we speak, how we behave and how we treat ourselves AND other people.
So be accountable. OWN. YOUR. SHIT.