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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Week 13: Authenticity Accountability Groups

Welcome to week 13!



The first time I ever heard of an accountability group I was sitting at dinner with a group of single folks from my church. My friend Tim looked at our group leader and asked. "What day are we meeting for accountability?" Me being the extremely curious person I am asked what he meant by accountability. Tim explained to me that it was a concept they learned in a Promise Keepers meeting. It is where a group of two or three friends get together to talk about things going on in their lives and make a plan for how they want to move forward. The others in the group support and encourage each other to meet their goals or challenge them to explain why they are choosing to let one go.

I liked this concept so much I asked my friend Cynthia to be my accountability partner. Over the course of the next year we challenged each other to live a fuller richer life. We started by praying for one another and then moved onto talking about our hopes and dreams. In the end I lost my friend to her large Italian family living on the east coast. She came to realize she needed to be with them. To this day I miss her. Cynthia helped me to face some of my greatest fears and made me laugh so much I can not remember a time when seeing her did not make me smile.

Accountability is not an easy endeavor. It means making yourself vulnerable and submissive to others. It also means trusting another person with your deepest fears, dreams, and secrets. These are all very scary propositions and can leave a person feeling intimidated. However, the relationship you can develop will be one you cherish forever.

I suggest if you are married your spouse be an accountability partner. However, every person needs an accountability person of the same sex as well. I am about to make a seemingly controversial statement here: look out! Men and women are different. However, physically, biologically, emotionally, and brain patters are all different within the sexes. Men and women see the world from very different perspectives. If you think about it something as everyday as going to the restroom is different. Men stand women sit. That is just one thing which allows our everyday worlds to be very diverse.
One of my favorite sayings is: "your man can be your best friend, but he will never be your best girlfriend."

Now, you can have an accountability partner as I did with Cynthia. But, I like and accountability group even better. This is where you and three other friends become accountable to one anther. Rog and Tim were two of the four men who were planning to meet. The group process is a little different in that there are you and three others. I like this because four heads are usually better than two. There is a Jewish proverb which says: There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors. I have seen people of accountability groups become life long friends long after they no longer met as a group. They still had one another's back. I often imagine Groups of Navy Seals to be this way. Once you  have been to hell and back together there is no way you lose each other later on in life.

So, this week's exercises are about beginning to think about the people you know and tryst. Is there one person or perhaps three others you think you can trust to include into your journey to authenticity. Perhaps your spouse would be a good person to start.

Exercises

  1. Get in touch with at least one person and share with them your authenticity journey.  
  2. Ask them if they would like to help you by becoming an authenticity partner or group. 
  3. Share this blog with them so they get the concept. 
  4. Plan to have your first session.
Journal

I know this process is scary and intimidating. Write about how you feel about sharing authenticity with anther person or group of people. Journal about your worst fears and then think about the worst thing that could happen. Are you willing to risk that thing to get to be your most authentic self? Then write about the conversation with the person you chose to talk to how did it go? Finally, look back at your fears and see if what you feared was as bad as what happened. Get it all on paper so you can be objective. 

As you are doing this think about how you can share this with your kids. How can they develop a group of friends who help them to be more true to themselves. Help them do it!

Believe in Parenting


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