There are those who say, “You need accountability and a person to keep you on track and correct you as needed.”
Then there are others who actually think accountability is a waste of time and harmful because it’s not productive or helpful if all we do is keep confessing every time we mess up.
And then there are others who think accountability is something that can be found in a software product and is more of a check and balance system than anything else.
Because while each viewpoint has its merits, they are all incomplete because they fail to appreciate the true nature and benefits of accountability.
Here’s what I mean…
Understand, that when we are talking about accountability, the key is our willingness to put ourselves out there.
Yet a lot of times, when we enter recovery and seek out “accountability”, we are looking for someone to keep us accountable and do the work of a parent or supervisor. We want someone to monitor us and check in from time to time, so things don’t slip.
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Any person who’s been down this road (including myself) has struggled in this area of understanding when it comes to accountability because we were waiting for that person or those persons to pull us out of our addiction and isolation and when they don’t… we feel stuck.
I’ve received questions more times than I can count like, “Hey can you get me an accountability partner?” and “Where can I download that accountability thing?” or even, “Can someone please email me each day to check in on me?”
All of these questions have the same basic theme; who can I find, or what can I download that will do the work of keeping me on track?
And so the paradigm shift that needs to happen so we approach accountability in a healthy and more complete way is when we realize that,
1) Recovery requires relationship – it’s not a solo adventure and as long as we insist on making it one, we are going to struggle.
2) It’s on us to reach out and build those relationships. No one is going to do it for you.
Often, when we say to ourselves, “I’m alone, or I struggle with finding an accountability partner,” what we really mean is, “Hey, no one has made themselves available to me and I don’t feel conformable making the first move.”
For me, my real shift in recovery came when I finally found a solid accountability partner. I’m not saying that was the reason I found freedom, but it was a critical piece to my success.
And you know what?
I found that accountability partner when I decided to just put myself out there and tell a guy in my church that I was struggling with porn and then he, in turn, feeling more at ease because I led with my honesty, told me “Yea, me too dude.”
It’s the willingness to put yourself out there and not let shame keep you quiet and trapped.
It’s showing up to your weekly online small group or 12 step meeting and being honest with the guys in that group about what’s going on in your life and how you’re processing stuff, allowing them to give you input.
And it’s reaching out to the men in your life and saying, “Hey I need help in this area, will you walk this process out with me?” And if they say yes, take the responsibility of checking in and making regular conversations a priority.
One of the primary reasons TRUE accountability is so helpful and effective is not because of the constant reporting or having someone to scold us when we mess up.
No, what makes accountability so powerful is that it forces us to mature in the area of our relationships and vulnerability.
Because so much about our unwanted sexual behaviors stems from our lack of connection, security, and acceptance, and accountability will help heal those wounds.
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