“Will you be my accountability partner?” Eeeeeeeek!!
I have nothing to hide. My life is an open book. I’m known to be a good encourager. But when faced with that question, I would often prefer the ground open up and swallow me before I force my response of, “Sure.” Honestly, it’s a question that sometimes makes me feel trapped! I mean, how does one possibly say “Sorry, no.” to that question?
Here’s the deal with me…I lean towards being an introvert. While many become depressed and discouraged in solitude, I actually become revived and refreshed. My preference is to always do things alone. I want to make it very clear that my reasons for resistance are all about me, and no one else. I want to be in control of what I do – and don’t do. I don’t want the responsibility of letting someone down, because I know I will. I struggle with guilt, and I don’t want to create another “thing” that I will end up feeling guilty about. I do not care for drama or pity…and these are all things that I associate with accountability. I’m a pick-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps kind of gal so I usually don’t linger too long in drama. I like to brush myself off and move on, so I’m not good in this area if someone wants to linger way too long for my amount of comfort. And pity…I do not like people to feel sorry for me, so I’m reluctant to share things that I’m struggling with. If I only have myself and God to be accountable to, then I won’t have to deal with any of this.
When I started out with my walking last summer, I would typically head out around 10am or so…by myself. The wheels are always turning in my head. I am always aware of my surroundings; waiting for my take-away lesson to journal about. Some days I would listen to music as I walked. I loved how it would flow with the breeze through the trees and orchestrate all life around me. Other days I preferred to walk in silence to just give my mind a rest, or maybe I’d decide to make it a prayer walk, lifting each person up that I saw along the way. I’d pray for my friends and family as they were put on my heart. It was therapy, in sweet, sweet solitude.
My closest friend saw what I was doing and wanted to join in; however, we would need to change the time of our walk to the crack of dawn. I’ll admit, I was not thrilled about this when we first set out on this little “accountability” thing. She was excited to be doing this together, but I really wasn’t fully invested and did it a bit begrudgingly. While I walked for exercise, it was so much more than that to me. And now…it would be different.
Here we are, eight months later, and I can’t imagine walking without her. Something really happened in me. Oddly enough, I found myself excited to get up, get dressed, lace up the shoes, and wait for the peppy blonde chick to show up at my curb. Our walks went from one-mile to six-miles in a matter of a couple of months. Our fitness apps show that we walk anywhere from an hour to an hour and thirty minutes, but to us it feels half of that.
We talk about everything and nothing. My walks have now become a different type of therapy. I have found other ways to find the solitude that I still need, but I’ve learned that it’s not good for us to go through all of our journeys alone. If I am struggling or having an off day, she is somehow in the opposite mood – and the reverse is true. Like iron sharpening iron, we are able to lift, encourage and nudge each other into healthier ways of thinking and feeling in all aspects of life. Being an accountability partner goes in both directions. It’s being equals; when one is weak, the other is strong. It’s each of us being transparent and sharing, believing in one another, and lifting each other to new and improved heights. As well, it’s all about celebrating together in our victories!
Left to my own vices, I wouldn’t depend on anyone when I’m struggling. Because of my optimistic nature, I know that I’d make my way through it…but without some accountability in my life, I don’t know that I would have grown to the heights I’ve reached; mentally, physically and spiritually.
What about you? Where do you land where the A-word is concerned? I want to encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone, just dip your toe into an atmosphere that you just might need, but have been avoiding. Why not invite a friend or a couple of friends over for a simple cup of coffee? Invite a friend to walk, or go on a bike ride. Pay a visit to a group at your church and be open to making a connection or two.
Encouragement and motivation is out there waiting for each one of us. Don’t wait for it to come knocking at your door. Take it from a lifelong encourager like me…take the first step and dare to be someone’s accountability partner.
Have a wonderful day, friends!
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.