3. Accountability is Liberating
During a break on the first day of one of our Marriage Trainings I heard the following exchange between a couple (I have edited out the details):
Her: “I don’t know why you always do that, you know it makes me angry!”
Him: “Well, it’s not like you give me any choice! What else am I supposed to do?”
Her: “When are you ever going to change? Why do we have to go through this time after time?!”
I remember thinking, “Hey, these guys are speaking a language I used to know!”
Indeed, I did know the language of Co-Dependence and blame. Many years ago through a painful personal evaluation of my life I was brought to the realization that many of my most important relationships had become entangled in co-dependence. Loved ones were demanding that I change even as I tried to control the relationship. We were tied to one another’s emotions and feelings in unhealthy ways, basing our day on how others felt or how we were treated.
My first baby step out of co-dependence involved embracing the principle of Accountability which, at first, seemed like a very hard doctrine indeed.
Many can empathize with the self-imposed chains I had to break:
For someone who felt that life was a series of circumstances to which I could only react, it was a big step to declare that I am accountable for what I attract into my life and how I deal with it. Whoops! There goes a favorite pastime, blame. Now I am squarely in charge of my own direction and progress.
As someone who had spent so long wearing masks and striving to hide from my relationship failures, it was not easy to embrace that I am accountable for what I bring into my relationships, negative or positive. Whoops! No more co-dependence in trying to get people to change to accommodate me; now my focus is on changing myself.
For someone who had become comfortable in his role of victim it was a stretch to realize that, in one sense, there are no victims, only students and lessons to learn, and that nobody can “make me” feel anything, or force me from my chosen path. I had to learn how to reject being the victim of of someone else’s bad day or poor manners.
Hard doctrine? No. Accountability is the most LIBERATING choice you will ever make. Disentangle yourself from the toxic controlling and co-dependent parts of your relationships and feel instead the fresh air of acceptance of others and accountability for yourself.