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THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES

So now, you have goals.  What’s next?  Norman Vincent Peale wrote about the “Power of Positive Thinking”.  He later said that “a lot of people misunderstood the power of positive thinking … they thought that all you have to do is think positively and everything is going to work out. … No, you have to also take some action, learn some skills – you’ve got to do something.”  So it is in that doing that we succeed.  How do you stay accountable and to whom?  Looking at the two ends of the spectrum, you could be accountable to everyone or accountable to no one.  If you are accountable to everyone, you are subject to the opinions and whims of the multitude of people that cross your path daily.  To that end, no one will be happy.  If you are accountable to no one, will you actually do what you say you are going to do?

 

From A New Beginning: Daily Devotions for Women Survivors of Sexual Abuse:  I had grown up a people pleaser, thinking I had to be accountable to everyone in my life who demanded it.  I was in bondage as I constantly justified and explained my behavior… I finally announced to the Lord, “I am sick of having to explain myself to everybody” “Good,” He responded, “because you only have to be accountable to the few I will show you.”  What freedom I experienced as I loosened from the bondage of “required” accountability and accepted the challenge of healthy accountability.

 

Each of us needs to define that healthy accountability.  For me, there are three areas of accountability:

 

Myself – I find that when I am accountable to myself and don’t do what I say I am going to do, it is like the Sword of Damocles is hanging over my head.  The weight of my disappointment in myself is suffocating.  However, when I do what I say I am going to do, I feel strong and whole and accomplished.

 

Others – For years, I felt like I had do the right things, what was expected… be the best sister, daughter, grand-daughter, student, wife, co-worker, mother… Life’s little disappointments, infertility, divorce, disillusionment and sundry other experiences have changed that vision.  To quote JoDee Messina, “My Give A Damn’s Busted.”  It is not that I don’t care but, well, I guess, maybe it is that I don’t care.   The flip side of course is that disappointing someone that I care about and that cares about me is as bad as disappointing myself.  Therefore, my strategy is to be mindful of who I am accountable to and to honor those commitments as I would honor myself.

 

Spirit – Growing up, I went to Sunday school and church almost every week. I believe in the tenets of that religion – mostly – but I fail see where “man” can really put the rules over God.  I do not believe that any one religion is better or more correct than another.  We are all parts of the same whole.  The love I put into world raises the vibrational level of the world.  Therefore, I am accountable to spirit to honor my commitments and add positive vibes into the world to the best of my ability.

 

In the end, the key word is healthy.  Like all else in our lives, be mindful to make healthy choices in to whom and how we are accountable.

Jan