Over the past several weeks, Justin and Patrick have shared their thoughts on how honesty and vulnerability impact our relationships. Today, they take a look at accountability. The level of honesty and vulnerability we embrace determines the level of accountability we have with one another. Again, thank you to Matt Payne for the question: “Your shared accomplishment and friendship is extraordinary. What can the ordinary person do for a friend to build a closer relationship?”
We never arrive! No matter how hard we work, no matter how much we study, no matter how hard we train, there is always a better version of ourselves out there waiting for us.
We never arrive! And the second we think we have, we’ve failed! A better version of us becomes more distant and if we continue to swallow the lie that we have arrived, that better version will elude us forever.
When honesty and vulnerability are pursued in a relationship, they allow something beautiful to thrive. Something that keeps each of us from ever thinking we have arrived, something that lets us discover the better version of ourselves waiting beyond each new experience. The better version our friends deserve, the better version our spouse deserves, the better version our children deserve. That something beautiful is accountability.
But let’s be honest, embracing accountability is scary. Embracing accountability means we have to face that we might be fallible, it means we might be wrong, it means we might not have things figured out, it means we might not be perfect. Let’s get this out there right now! All of us are fallible, all of us are wrong at times, none of us have things figured out all the time, and none of us are perfect! But to make matters more terrifying, being accountable means letting others know all about the dark, yucky stuff… the dirt. It means letting others see the deepest struggles we face and being okay with them calling us out on the behaviors that make us less than we can be; the behaviors keeping us from attaining a better version of ourselves.
There are many reason’s people live on the surface level, never really sharing all they are; never being vulnerable and honest, let alone accountable. But if we are “honest” with ourselves, we all have been there at some point. Walking through life wearing masks, hoping no one see through them. Pretending we have arrived but knowing deep down we are slaves to identities built on lies, omissions of truth and secrets. Who wants to live like that?
Accountability is so completely and utterly freeing. Pursuing relationships with honesty and vulnerability bring the human connections we possess to appoint where others know all of us. When we give those same people, the people who love us in spite of us, permission to hold us accountable to our thoughts and actions; our thoughts, addictions, and secrets have less power. Rather than being slaves to our weaknesses, we are free of them. This doesn’t mean we never fail or never fall back into old habits, but it does mean we have people who will pick us up and correct our compasses so we can get back on course, so we can get back on the path to the better version of who we are. Rather than being concerned with whether or not someone can see behind the masks we wear, our focus begins to shift toward who can we become.