Integrity or Accountability – It is not Just a Word

Changing your life requires being conscious of your self.  It is easy to say “I want to change, I am tired of living the life that has happened up till now, I want something different.”  Saying it of course is the beginning of change, because you have to recognize there is a problem first and then acknowledge something needs to happen.  However, so many people say this and truly mean it but the change does not occur.  This is because of many things.

Addicts have a hard time changing because they have family members who enable them to be addicts and until the user has conned everyone in the family enough times that they finally realize they need to walk away, it could take years for the abuser to actually change.  Why should anyone change if you are being allowed to remain as you are?  The same situation can occur for any other issue about your self that you want to change.  It could be family that “likes” you the way you are and is making it comfortable for you to stay emotionally unhealthy.  It could also be that you are more willing to sit in your comfort zone and hold onto what is “normal” to you rather than risk facing the person that you would like to be.  Success is something that most people fail at because they sabotage this and are unwilling to allow themselves to be prosperous.

“And the day came when the risk [it took] to remain in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin

Anais Nin understood a person’s fear about shifting consciousness.  Of course she was an erotic writer and quite possibly this quote has to do with sex – I really don’t know.  Yet this also works on other levels which is why I use the quote frequently. Recently I saw where someone actually paraphrased it to try to make it their quote.  This is where the word Integrity or Accountability comes in to place.  It is also relevant to this article.  Can you hold yourself accountable to the goals you have wanted to reach for so long but haven’t quite been able to accomplish?  Do you have the integrity to be the person it will take to be accountable for these dreams?  It is easy to use these words, which are very popular lately in the professional world.  But they mean absolutely nothing if you can’t be trusted to be a person of your word.

All talk and no action.  I don’t have a clue where this phrase began and I am sure this could relate to sex too, come to think about it.  I doubt Anais Nin came up with though, she seemed to have quite a fulfilling life with lovers.  Enough to write books and short stories. From what I have seen in the movie made about her, she was a risk taker.  Risks need to happen in order for change to occur.  Risks do not mean you must jump out of an airplane nor do they mean you must walk a tight rope over a tall building.  This however is what people envision when they imagine taking risks.

As a psychotherapist, I work with people who want to make change in their lives.  It is so exciting to watch the progress as a person takes this leap of faith, week after week.  Being a part of this metamorphosis is why I love my job so much.  Knowing there is nothing I can do when a person is not committed to this process, is the part I have a hard time with.  Since I am able to see so much potential in every person that walks through my door, I get so excited at what is possible for them.  I know the satisfaction they will gain if only they continue to do the work and invest the time in their own humanity. I know how this will affect their families and their future.

Being a psychotherapist though I am also painfully aware that so many will stay in the bud and that even when it does become too painful, they will step out and make an effort one more time, see what is possible for themselves, want it so desperately and then slowly fall back into the patterns of their life.  I can try to build trust with a person so that I can metaphorically hold their hand while they walk over the bridge overlooking those rough waters below.  I can even make promises – which I would never do because no one would believe me.  If you can’t believe in yourself, why would you believe in me? I can smile, be nice and have the integrity to “show up” for you week after week.

It is your life and no one can change it but you.  One has to be so stubborn with themselves and say out loud “I am not going to take this anymore,” and truly believe it.  Like Scarlett O’Hara said “Tomorrow is another day…” but if you wait until then, you are missing out on the greatness you could become today.  Anything is possible in life if you are willing to open the box and be willing to step outside.  Nothing is ever black and white and what holds us back is having know knowledge of the color “grey.”  This is where the professional comes in – that person we need to take a chance on trusting – who can see what we cannot.  Then we must use an ounce of patience while we wait for the answers to come within.  Follow your instincts and never give up on yourself.  Change will take time if you are willing to do the work.  The work will be tough and you might not like what you see.  Mainly you won’t like the person you have been all these years and that is hard to really fathom.  Hard as this is, it is a breakthrough and it is the new you emerging.  With emergence comes a process of learning to walk all over again, beginning to understand life with new eyes.

Yep, good can happen if you will invest in your future. Not just your physical and dental health.  Not just your college education.  Not just getting a ring on your finger.  The most important investment you can ever make is in your emotional health.  Without this, true happiness will never occur, no matter how great your stocks do in the market.

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