Action and accountability go hand-in-hand, in that life is a series of actions and decisions you choose to take, which are followed up by a series of consequences, results and reactions. Action is defined as “physical, verbal and mental actions (or body, speech, and mind)”. Inaction can also render the same series of consequences. Action takes place before and after accountability. When your actions are rooted around being morally good (generosity, loving-kindness, wisdom), the action has good consequences and vice versa with morally bad actions (attachment, ill will, ignorance), leading to bad or unpleasant consequences. This overall makes up your Karmic Energy, you reap what you sow.
According to the article, “Actions and Results” written by The Buddhist Society, a person is able to change the direction of their life by personal effort. Personal effort meaning the actions you take, which can either better, worsen or pretty much keep your life at a standstill. If you are speaking negatively about yourself, not taking advantage of your opportunities, complaining instead of doing what it takes to move forward, you will experience consequences related to this inaction. Even inaction is a form of action. By choosing not to do something, you are ultimately choosing its opposite. This is why according to Buddhism, a person creates their own reality.
“Thoughts happen in your mind, which triggers feelings in your body, which leads to words coming out of your mouth and actions coming from your body. What part of this process involves anyone else? None (Tinybuddha.com).”
Accountability can be defined as a form of ownership, observance and the realization of consequences caused by your actions and behavior. This pretty much boils down to accountability being the acceptance of the problems, challenges or step backs that your actions have caused and how these results may have affected your life and wellbeing, mental or physical. Accountability is also showing up for yourself, following through commitments and staying true to your word.
Now, accountability is similar to responsibility but they are not the same. Responsibility is the ability to be able to answer to your actions and misconduct. While accountability is being able to accept your consequences and reflect how you can move differently in the future.
An example of responsibility vs accountability in My own life: I’ve recently moved back to My hometown, Chicago. I was super excited to reconnect with old friends who I’ve only been able to talk to from a distance. However, after actually returning to Chicago, a massive wave of social anxiety hit Me, literally crippling My want to hang out and be social with My friends. This has left Me feeling pretty alone, friendless and somewhat isolated. I have taken responsibility, knowing that My actions of staying out the way, not reaching out to My friends and missing opportunities to hang out has caused Me to experience these feelings of loneliness. Although I want change, I have not been very accountable when it comes to this situation, therefore nothing has changed.
Accountability in this situation comes after the realization of how My actions had caused My current situation. I cannot blame My friends for not inviting Me out when I’ve told them “No” on multiple occasions nor can I be upset that I am no longer first pick when there’s an event. My actions have pushed My friends away and now I have to be accountable for how that’s affected My life. Going forward, accountability for My social life starts with taking action and looks like being loyal, consistent and honest/transparent (especially about why I’ve been M.I.A) in My friendships. Although I do have social anxiety, I cannot keep using that as an excuse to close myself off from My friends and the potentially great opportunities I could be experiencing by opening myself back up. Accountability is also forgiving myself, accepting the negative feelings I have associated with My social anxiety, being patient with myself through My healing process and taking the necessary actions to change My circumstances- which would pretty much be building back up trust and strength in My friendships, taking advantage of the social opportunities I am invited to and remaining patient with myself- by not overwhelming myself and knowing the appropriate times to isolate myself without sending My friends off.
Accountability starts with acknowledging where you are currently in life and accepting how that makes you feel. You cannot move forward until you accept what you are currently experiencing, how can you move forward if you don’t exactly acknowledge how your actions landed you where you are currently? Being accountable is owning your failure, finding the lesson within and learning how to move forward.
Your life is based on your active units of Karmic Energy, and the changes within the Karma you sow, changes what you reap in life. When things are falling apart around you, it’s important to remember to look within, taking accountability for the situations you have attracted. Although most times we cannot help our circumstances nor can we control the particular situation, you do have control over your reactions to these circumstances. When you blame everyone else around you for the circumstances of your life, not taking responsibility for the fact that you are the only one in control of you, your actions and your reactions, it causes you to hinder your growth, leaving you stuck and unable to improve. Everything is YOUR life is YOUR responsibility, and being accountable is realizing, accepting how your actions have created your current reality and the self-reflection of what you can do differently next time to yield the results you want.
Accountability can be a transformative experience because it enables you to change what isn’t working for you in your life (Tinybuddha.com).
Some ways to stay accountable, remember:
Every morally good/morally bad choice you make renders consequences on that frequency.
Long-term effort creates long-lasting change.
Error, doubt, & failure is a part of the process, not a means to give up.
Facing your truths will reveal where you currently are in life. This includes answering the hard questions about who you are, what actions you take, and what you are willing (and not willing) to sacrifice.
Invest in yourself. You are worth your own time and effort.
References: Tinybuddha.com, Thebuddhistsociety.org, Wholelifechallenge.com
- Brey’ ✨/ @aura.inked