There are some days that we don’t take a moment to reflect on exactly why people treat us the way that they do. Did we offend them? Did I say something or do something to make people think I am disrespectful? The look on my face often gives people the impression that I am aggravated […]
Word! Accountability is a huge subcategory of honesty. Holding yourself accountable is one of the most grown up things you can do. I am constantly telling my five year old nephew to question his actions. I ask how would you feel if (insert loving relative) did that to you? How does it feel when I don’t listen to you? Why do you feel the need to (insert irritating only child tendency)?
These questions are not rhetorical and require a response. I want him to really think about the answers, and I tell him that.
Nonetheless, he is five and these short talks usually end with a tickle, high-five or hug. But I do recognize that adults more than 6x his age need to be handled with the same kid gloves, including me. Accountability is vital, but sometimes arduous. It’s easier to point fingers, embellish an argument in your favor or play victim than to say girl! You don’ fugged up! I am a work in progress. I can be so hard on myself and forget that I’m allowed an occasional lapse.
But when time lessens the pain, I can often laugh at myself. I can write a letter to those I regret hurting or confusing as well as those I gave the power to hurt me, tell them how I should have handled things and hope they receive that energy. I can snigger and smh at the men that drained my spirit and tear ducts. But it takes consistent practice. It takes reflecting; why am I angry? What was the trigger? What can I do better next time? And it takes knowing that you and a loved one are on the same team, so if one of you is hurt by the other’s actions, neither of you are winning. And if you don’t care enough to work through it, take care of yourself and cut the ties, as short or as long as need be. Sometimes silence is all I can give. Sometimes their refusal to accept their part is unacceptable.
Other times though, a sincere apology and a wholehearted attempt to never repeat the offense is necessary, admirable, damn near chic and oh so grown up. And a lot of us need to grow up.
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