Above all else, demand accountability from yourself.
We demand accountability from everyone else. We want governments to be transparent. We want the media to be responsible. We want big businesses to stop their shady under-the-table transactions. That’s easy.
What isn’t so easy is when we’re called to do the same thing to ourselves. When we’re being asked by the circumstances to turn within and take a long, good, and honest look and ask ourselves: Where am I not stepping up here? What do I need to do? Who do I need to be in order to make the best contribution I can to the world?
And make no mistake about it, a pandemic that has practically shut down pretty much the entire world is the perfect circumstance to sit down, shut up, and reflect on the following:
Am I being true to myself about who I need to be and what I need to do? Be brutal to yourself. Don’t say yes until you have stripped yourself of the society-approved roles you play because you’re afraid of being called selfish or, worse, privileged.
Am I being responsible to my dreams? Do I day in and day out do the real work of going after these dreams? Or do I simply allow myself to be influenced by outside forces, including my own whims?
Am I being the person I need to be? Or do I keep putting it off to a time and place in the future because I keep getting distracted by this and that and every little thing that comes up on the other side of the world?
Unless you can look yourself in the eye and answer yes to all the hard questions, you’re really in no place to demand accountability from anyone else.
The only person you can truly demand to be accountable is yourself. In fact, the only person you can truly demand to be anything is yourself. There’s not much you can ask from anyone else. Even government.
Because while you can cite this and that piece of paper mandating that government respond to all your demands, the harsh but liberating truth is a piece of paper will not hold any person accountable to anyone, much less a person who just realized or have long realized that they actually don’t have the kind of power they think they do.
You can look at it two ways. You can be miserable knowing there’s not much you can do about other people’s actions, or you can rejoice knowing you have full control over your thoughts, emotions, actions, and reactions, and in having so remind others that they, too, have full control over themselves and their future circumstsnces.
And if you’ve answered no, well, then, there’s not much else to do but to go back to the work of being who you truly are.
It’s the only real work we have to do because it’s the only kind of work that matters. And I call it work because coming back to our true selves is going to be the hardest, scariest thing we’re going to have to do, especially at a time where we feel compelled to be something we’re not for the approval of strangers on the Internet and on the streets.
What does it look like, this work of coming to terms with your being? On the outside, it’s going to look differently for everyone. On the inside, it’s going to be a neverending journey of confronting yourself. Of digging up all the secret fears you refuse to acknowledge even to yourself. Of diving into the dirt and steadfastly staying there until you’re no longer uncomfortable with your own dirt.
But also, it is freeing. It’s breaking the chains of societal expectations. It’s developing the courage to leap into the unknown. It’s shedding your own expectations of who you should be and what you should do. It’s releasing guilt for wanting things to be different. It’s recognizing a Higher Power inside your very being and surrendering all control to that power.
And while you won’t be able to remain in that power all day every day, you and I and everyone else are blessed with the ability to choose to come back to it anytime we want.
Because that Higher Power is what you and I and everything else in the universe is what we’re made of. That Higher Power is who we really are. How can we not be?
The mind will keep throwing you off track for as long as it’s there. Will you be responsible to your true self? Will you hold yourself accountable for the work you’ve done and haven’t done? Will you persist in doing the work of being your truest, highest, and best self every day? Because if you won’t, stop looking at what others are doing or not doing and focus on yourself.
This alone is your responsibility. This alone is what you need to do. This alone is what you were meant for. You were born human with all your flaws and imperfections and that control freak mind of yours because you were meant to remember that you are not human at all. You’re bigger than all the world’s problems combined and magnified by mainstream media because you created them in the first place!
But your work isn’t to solve these problems. Your work is to remember. And for as long as people, things, and circumstanceds keep making you forget, you need to work harder. Remember harder. Be more of yourself.
That’s the only thing you owe the world. That you give of yourself, the biggest, boldest, most beautiful version of you, in all its blinding glory, in its entirety. That’s all you need to do–to give all of yourself and nothing less.