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Compassion and Accountability

This being human can be such a tough gig sometimes. We’re all try so hard to show up and really be the best version of ourselves that we can be, and yet we’re still messy, messed up and tripping up all over the place…like, a lot! (well, I am at least). And so the big question is how to hold all of this? There’s this constant tension playing out in my life between Compassion and Accountability – both with myself and the people in my life.

How do I hold myself (and others) accountable for mistakes, hurtful wrongdoings and bad judgments so that we can learn and grow, and yet at the same time stay in touch with our human-ness, enough to feel ok with ourselves and be inspired to change? I’m totally blessed to have spent this weekend with a bunch of big-hearted and courageous people who were exploring this very thing.

Accountability without compassion can feel hard, cold and heartless (that’s your problem dude, so tough!) and Compassion without accountability can lead to boundaries being trashed all over the place and people getting repeatedly hurt (sure, no problem that you let me down for the 10th time, I know you just can’t help it!). Most of us will err on one side or the other as it seems these two cousins don’t get along – but in my mind they have to, they’re family! And like most families, it takes a little work to find peace.

Identifying our stuff when things go wrong is a huge step. It’s definitely a big part of knowing ourselves, so we can be accountable for the energy we’re spreading and the actions we’re taking. If you’ve got $hit to work on, then yes of course do the work. Do the work and then let it go. But I really think compassion has to come first. We’re always bringing so much to the table. We have our life experiences, our histories, our opinions and feelings and things we’ve been taught, in addition to our current mood and circumstances. This is really helpful to remember when we find ourselves totally thrown by our own or someone else’s behaviour or different take on a situation. Let yourself feel that, take it into account, and then do what you need to do to learn and move forward.

If we can hold these two energies in balance, I believe great healing can take place. Not everyone is going to accept that invitation, and that’s OK. We always have at least one person who accepts us entirely, because we always have the power to do that for ourselves. And it’s a relief, really. Sending you a huge hug this grey Monday morning, and hope to see you in class for a little self-compassion this week. Love Deborah


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