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By Joshua Pierce
Rev. Mdiv. RADT, contributing writer 

The necessity of accountability

Cornerstone's Corner

 

September 17, 2022

Rev. Joshua Pierce, Mdiv. RADT.

One look at the title of this article and many will move on. They will see the word accountability and the voice in their head will say, "No, thank you." Before you flip the page or move to the next article, bear with me for a moment while I explain its necessity. Accountability is a catalyst for growth; spiritual, social, emotional, career, etc. Allowing others to speak into our lives offers the opportunity to see from new perspectives, hold to commitments and goals, and have relationships that go deeper than discussing the weather.

The common struggle I have witnessed with accountability is its opposition and offensiveness to modern hyper-individualism. A problem that spans multiple generations and plays out differently, with varying degrees, for each. Many believe the fable that hyper-individualism grants us full autonomy and freedom, but for those who come for counseling or substance abuse treatment it has only brought them loneliness, depression, anxiety, a lack of identity, and in some cases addiction. The reason, I believe, for these issues is that hyper-individualism keeps us from being grounded in a solid foundation and a lack of perspective from which we can understand ourselves.

Accountability provides the framework required to keep us grounded in reality and a perspective from we can form our identities. For the sake of our own mental and emotional well being we need to do the difficult work to find those trustworthy enough to keep us accountable. It can take awhile to find these individuals. Personally, I have 10 people whose opinions and thoughts I value and have given permission to call me out when I miss the mark. Thankfully, they are loving about it. These individuals keep me accountable to managing a staff, being a pastor, maintaining my health, practicing my faith, and whose thoughts I trust more than mine when my depression becomes overwhelming.

Being willing to be held accountable begins with being willing to live in a community. As much as we love social media, it cannot provide the level of community needed. The best place to start is finding those who share a mutual interest. As bonds begin to develop it is important to know what you are looking for. In friendships, part of the criteria to look for is someone also willing to be accountable to us. In mentorship, part of the criteria is someone who is farther along and has a willingness to walk alongside us.

A word of caution for those who struggle with codependent behavior. Accountability does not mean we allow others to control us or that we seek to control others. In codependency growth is stifled because of control. In accountability growth occurs because identity is not reliant on the other. Therefore each individual can move toward the sense of autonomy and identity that hyper-individualism falsely offers.

Knowing where to start in the growth process associated with accountability can be daunting. For that and other reasons, I believe that everyone should seek out a counselor or therapist who can provide accountability in the form of emotional mentorship. Thankfully our Tehachapi community has several counselors and therapists who can serve in that capacity. Here at Cornerstone we have therapists and a pastoral counselor who would love to work with you. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about accountability or speak to a therapist please call, (661) 750-0438. We can also be reached at info@cornerstoneccd.org.

 
 

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