All You Need Is… Accountability*

*Sorry to rain on your parade, Beatles, but the love is implicit: to be accountable for oneself is an act of [self] love in and of itself.

There’s a reason why romantic love is such a common theme in popular culture: it’s so much easier to love others — or at least become infatuated with them (!)— than love yourself.

Why? Loving yourself doesn’t merely “require” honesty, but demand it; it’s an act of respect, but it’s also one of celebration.

Lying to yourself is futile when the only person you’re betraying is yourself.

Accountability is a little easier — emphasis upon the ‘little’, of course. Whilst difficult and painful, it “only” requires you to face yourself. The proverbial ‘man in the mirror’ must, eventually, be forgiven — but there’s a long and winding road to take before then. One that requires honesty and compassion, but only implicitly. You don’t have to go out, all-guns-blazing, steadfast in your belief. The only requirement is a desire, however tentative, for something different; to live, to feel, to think — whatever that means. And hey, you might not know yet — that’s the point, too. All of these points, for what? The answer is as simple as it is unequivocal: to learn to deal with that uncertainty.

On that note, hi, I’m Rachel. I’m a human being. I make mistakes. Sometimes, *shock horror*, I do things that, later, I come to regret — or at least wonder why I did them.

Internal monologue: “please tell me this is normal!”
Reality check: “dear Rachel, you’re not that special”

… Thank (proverbial) God.

Generally speaking, these problems can be unpacked by putting them into one of two categories.

So, when asking the question “What was I thinking?”, the answer is usually either that:

a) I wasn’t

[thinking, that is.]

A slightly more wordy/extensive elaboration: I wasn’t thinking logically or rationally and/or was simply being avoidant of the nuances of a particular situation (the joys of cognitive biases, eh?)

or that

b) I was thinking too much

Overthinking: the curse of neurotics and intellectuals the world over — take your pick… and choose wisely!

Neither are useful, productive or proactive — at least in theory.

But hey, here I am, processing what’s gone on (and wrong) and trying, quote unquote, to “pick up the pieces”…because life isn’t theory.

The best-laid plans are those that account for the fact that life doesn’t, won’t and quite frankly refuses to “go to plan”, for the more that we try to constrain it to neat little boxes of our making, the more we constrain ourselves.

Life, much like human beings, doesn’t like being — or feeling — “out of control”. It will bite back, run riot around you, laugh in your face… if you refuse to adapt your wants, needs and desires to its own.

It’s a harsh taskmaster — no one slips through the net — but it’s also a great one.

It has much to teach, offer and give — and all it asks in return is that you recognise (and appreciate) this.

This is it. It starts with you, with me, with us: definitive.

As Adele sung so poignantly in “Someone Like You”, ‘regrets and mistakes are memories made’.

…Who’d have known how bittersweet this would taste?

Beyond fear lies freedom — but sometimes, there’s fear in that, too. For better or worse, I/you/we are only human.

Own it.