The next installment of my “Rumination of the Fruit of the Spirit” series is about ready to be published. I would love to do a free book give away on Black Friday and another one on Cyber Monday. Fingers are crossed and I’m keeping my head down on my work. Today’s NaMo post is an excerpt from GOODNESS.
To recap, once it had occurred to me, “What if, you can’t find the love, joy and peace until you actually worked on patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?” The very next day I woke up and said, “I will find any and all ways to use patience for this day,” and I did. It worked so well I did a second day. This excerpt is what I had learned from taking a couple of days to practice nothing but Goodness and … you can tell, going into this project, I about had it with accountability.
Chapter 2 Accountability vs. Responsibility
Accountability and responsibility are practically interchangeable words. It seems you can almost always use responsibility in place of accountability, but you wouldn’t always use accountability instead of responsibility. For example, you wouldn’t say that someone grew up to be accountable; you’d say that person grew up to be responsible … labeling someone accountable, gives a slightly different image. To me the definitions become vastly different when I notice that I don’t have a problem telling people to stop being accountable, but I have a huge problem with telling people to stop being responsible.
By the time I had come upon this fruity experiment, I was so disenfranchised from everything: I had trouble getting through a simple conversation. Come on! I’m blonde, blue-eyed, a bit top-heavy, I sprinkle powder blue and Barbie pink everywhere I go. Now I’m spouting Bible verses. What do you think I’m consistently challenged with?
I previously thought all I had to do was to be patient and work around this perception of the “dumb blonde” until we’d get back to the matter at hand. Then there was an inexplicable shift in my life when conversations deteriorated before they even began. So, I started there: What would happen if I shut up and let others do all the talking? I was amazed at the results. Some of my relationships changed and I found out who was toxic and who wasn’t. That started a cascade of testing the opposite of my usual perspective.
What would happen if I didn’t take the lead?
What would happen if I didn’t accept accountability?
What if I wasn’t involved in everything?
What if I didn’t speak up?
… If I didn’t work extra hours?
… If I didn’t share?
… If I didn’t do my part?
… If I didn’t apologize?
What would happen if I didn’t go above and beyond what was called for?
… If I only did the minimum?
… If I only did what I had the time and energy for?
What would happen if I quit worrying about others and I watched out for me?
What would happen if I did the things that I liked but nothing else? Without having to withstand all the b.s. of “earning” those things.
Resolving each of these questions took a lot of patience and self-control as I watched for the outcome. It was a struggle because not taking action invites fear of subsequent fallout, for which I’d be accountable. I was putting up a fight against the fear of being labeled one of “those” people … those lazy people who don’t earn their keep.
Through it all, I wondered what went wrong until it made my head spin. You know, I grew up a couple of decades ago and I still get into trouble. What is that? What challenges your perception of being an adult and says you’re naughty? No matter where I was in life, or what job I had, or how old my kids were, I always felt the same pressure to invite accountability in the name of being responsible; not just for me but for other people, too. We circle around that pressure and feed off of each other.
Since when did accountability become a badge of honor? What IS that? What is it that makes you want to do, and do, and do, to upset the balance in the name of finding the balance? Can’t you be responsible without being held accountable?