Sometimes justifications make accountability seem impossible for me to recognize. I’ve thought of accountability as some authority that subjects me and others to a power that intimidates and requires obedience. Yet, I can learn to recognize my accountability even though I’m unaware of it now.
I am often unaware of my accountability in an experience until I become aware of it through my discomfort. This manifests as thoughts, feelings, and body stresses.
When I notice sensations like distress and discomfort, I look for a cause outside me. To confirm this awareness, I might hear these questions in my head:
- What has happened to me?
- How did this happen to me?
- Why did this happen to me?
- Who’s responsible? (Not me!)
The last thing I think or want to do is apply these questions to my accountability. These questions provoke a response to a cause someone other than me must account for. I may actively be avoiding the awareness that holds me accountable – denial. Thus, I turn questions outwards to defend against the discomfort that awareness of my accountability to my rightness presents me. By the time I’ve taken action, I’ve affixed blame and missed a vital conversation with my accountability.
Denials and Justifications
The effort I’ve put into denial has exacerbated my need to expend more effort in denial. I’ve invested in my failure of accountability because I was busy denying my defense of it. Thus, I can attribute the suffering I’ve endured in my life to my unaware accountability.
Unawareness of my denial has an addictive quality that sustains itself through repetition. In its unawareness, my accountability rewards the defenses of my beliefs with justification of them. Under the addictive influence of my unawareness, my accountability assumes authority for the beliefs my ignorance denies.
I need justifications for my beliefs. Justifications come from my accountability while hiding it. When I am unaware, I justify what I feel the need to defend. Coming from unawareness, my justification acts as a reward of authority to my beliefs. Justified, my beliefs assume an authority to act for my accountability. That authority validates itself through the repetition of the defenses serving those beliefs. Repetition manifests as patterns of defense that affect my understanding of an experience.
The more I recognize how convincing my belief patterns are, the more empowered I feel to challenge them. From that point of awareness, I can use my accountability to make changes.