Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Ugly Truth

Accountability”. It’s a tough word to own. It’s not always easy to look at myself in the mirror and stare straight into the middle of my mess. To confront those things I said I wouldn't do again...that I did, again; the lies that I told myself to avoid confrontation with myself or with others; the self-sabotaging behaviors; the overcompensating for my weaknesses instead of owning them; the guilt. It’s downright scary to look myself straight in the eye and say "You messed up." It doesn't seem natural that I should accept my flaws instead of burying them if they don't fit in with the picture I want people to see. It’s disconcerting not to be able to dismiss things as unimportant and just explain them away. Yes…it is quite painful to see myself, exposed, staring back at me from clear unbiased eyes. It just makes me uncomfortable. And it should--because that's how I know I'm learning. Even though my mouth isn't catching up with my brain, I'm kicking myself and saying in my head "Don't be so stupid!"--and that's how I know I'm growing. I care that I look like a fraud--projecting a false, shadowy image onto the parts of me that want to shine. It’s important to me not to just feel better or to look better but to BE better. And that can only happen if I'm honest--with myself and everyone around me about the good about me and the not-so-good about me. Honest about where I'm flawed, and then thoughtful enough to fix it. It is only with eyes and soul wide open that I can see the holes in me, let them gape open, and dive way down deep inside them to figure out how they got there; then slowly begin to fill them from the inside out. Introspection, thoughtfulness, candidness--those are the tools I will start to cloak myself with daily until they meld onto my skin and begin to save me from myself. I will stand up and point the finger at myself--but instead of shying away from the accusation, I'll confront it head on and accept the consequences as an opportunity for growth—no matter how painful. I’ll ask myself the tough questions and LISTEN carefully to the answers I give. Remind myself that it’s harder to build and maintain the lie, than to just accept the truth of what has happened, what has gone wrong and what just…is.

I read something recently—a daily motivational email with an unknown source that happened to circulate to me—that resonated with me, because its message is very similar to these feelings of accountability. Although it’s directly related to failure, the same rules apply, and I can easily substitute the word “faults” for “failures”:

Owning failure
When you fail to get the desired results, what's the first thing you must do? Take credit for it.
If you don't take credit, you don't learn the extremely valuable lesson for which you've just paid dearly. If you don't take credit and own your failures, you'll continue to experience more of them.
Instead, go ahead and take complete credit and ownership of your failures. Because when you take full ownership of your failures, you fully empower yourself to successfully get beyond them.
What you own, you control. When you choose to own your results, then you put yourself in control of those results.
When you own your results, you can decide what those results will be. And they can be whatever you wish to make them.
Admit your failures, take credit for them, embrace them, and own them. When you willingly take responsibility and ownership even for the failures, you're positioned for magnificent success.

The sooner I can hold myself accountable for all the parts of myself, and move to acceptance; the sooner I can heal, and prove myself worthy of this amazing journey I’m being allowed to travel.


GG said...

I love the honesty here. It seems so much easier to live a false life and ignore ourselves, when really this just leads to more pain in the long run. So many people walk through life without ever having the courage to go to those scary places inside and find understanding there because the road along the way is rough, to say the least. I think that's where faith comes in to play. When your faith is strong, you know and trust that all the challenges you face within yourself, no matter how painful or inconvenient, will reap unbelievable blessings and enlightenment in your life and will ultimately make the world a better place.

Peace Love and Pretty Things said...

I agree. It's really very difficult to dig into that pain--even with the promise of understanding, betterment and joy on the other side. And it's such an ongoing process--pain, relief, pain, peace, pain, understanding....but ultimately, it is worth it.

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