Bearing Each Other’s Burdens: The Power of Accountability

As I sit and write this, few know of my personal struggles. Few know my inner anxieties, insecurities and the concerns I have regarding future issues and how I will face them. Subsequently, few can pray for me, encourage me or hold me accountable for making the changes I endeavor to make. This leaves me vulnerable. When alone in facing life’s struggles, more or less, I rely on myself to face my issues. Again, I am more vulnerable.

Thankfully, I don’t have to be alone with my fears, or lack accountability. Though I have grown accustomed to handling personal matters on my own, this never has to be the case. I never have to be alone or hold myself accountable for making the changes I need to make. I never have to be so vulnerable to regression.

Leaving Isolation Behind

Why am I tempted to face issues alone when so many people could rally around me in support? Here are a few of the arguments (myths) I wrestle with and the truth that I have to remind myself of. Perhaps you can compare your list with mine:

People are too busy to get involved in my life.

People who care for me often feel honored to be asked their opinion or requested to give their support. They know one day they will need my support and desire to be connected to others. They will create time for me/ you and give freely and readily.

My problems are too small to matter to anyone.

My problems are not too small for others to hear. What troubles me at this moment can feel overwhelming and the same is true for you. Whatever has burdened me has in some form burdened others at a time in their life. They can relate. My problems are not too small, or big, for others to care.

No one can really help.

Others can offer immense help. Just yesterday, when allowing some caring friends know about some anxieties I faced, they reassuringly shared, “We’ve got your back. We care what happens. All is going to be all right.” Simple words offered immense relief with a nudge as to how to more effectively handle a situation. Support from others, combined with accountability, feels good!

I would be burdening people if I asked for support.

We are not burdening people when we bring our cares to them. Scriptures makes it clear: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6: 2) Not only are we giving others a gift by sharing our hearts with them, we are fulfilling Scriptural principles of being interwoven and being stronger by being accountable to each other.

I don’t want to depend on anyone else for my well-being.

The myth of living independent lives, never needing others, is just that—a myth. This myth has been perpetuated by rugged individualism fostered in many cultures, yet damaging. We need each other for support and others need us. We need others to show us what we may be missing, insights we cannot see.

I fear people judging me for my insecurities and needs.

 Others will not judge us for reaching out for support and accountability. Most are honored that we have selected them to share our hearts. They recognize the risk we’ve taken by bringing them into our confidence. They intuitively honor that confidence and appreciate your willingness to share and recognize this opens the door for them to reciprocate, sharing their needs.

I want to appear strong.

The appearance of being strong, able to handle anything that comes our way without support or accountability is just that—a myth. We can appear strong, all the while feeling vulnerable and alone. Strength really comes in admitting weaknesses and acknowledging our dependence on others.

I resist accountability, for then I really may have to make changes.

Accountability does create an environment of commitment. When we tell others we are going to change this and that, we put ourselves out there. Accountability, however, combined with transparency, creates an optimal space for real change to occur. Without accountability we are prone to regression.

We are stronger together

Scripture tells us “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three is even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4: 12)

Where do you want to go? What is the ultimate success you want to achieve? Accountability is a major tool you will need to arrive at your desired destination. Consider today who you will include in your accountability circle. Consider how you might confront your mate and those in that inner circle regarding the importance of accountability. Your growth and theirs depends upon it.   

We offer groups for both men and women seeking to walk alongside others in their journey of growth. Call us in the office at 206.219.0145 or view our counseling programs page to learn more about these groups.