Accountability is simply your ability to be accountable.
There are lots of people you will meet in life who have never developed the ability to be accountable. These people instead have cultivated the ability to avoid accountability. This is a choice every one of us has to make. “Do I want to be accountable, or do I want to avoid accountability?” You will realize later in life that this choice is actually “Do I want to show up and be seen, or do I want to be fake?” Choosing to be accountable is choosing to be seen. You will never have true connection with others unless you are vulnerable enough to allow yourself to be seen, flaws and all.
You will always fear being found out until you allow yourself to be found out.
You cultivate your ability to be vulnerable through practice. I’m sure by now you have experienced betrayal. It really hurts. I don’t know anything that hurts more than being vulnerable and having someone use that against you to hurt you. In this pain, the dangerous lie you’re tempted to believe is that nobody deserves a window into your heart. The truth is that not everybody deserves to have a window into your heart.
Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
If nobody has a window into your heart then you can not feel connected. You can not feel loved unless you are completely revealed. This is why we all need accountability. Until I became accountable to others in my life I always felt like a fake. This doesn't mean that you have to tell your boyfriend your deepest darkest secrets. That’s probably a bad idea. But you need to tell somebody. You need to have a friend that will show up and listen to you tell how you totally screwed up. If it’s the right kind of friend then they will not say “You poor thing”, or “Come on it’s not that bad”, or “That’s nothing one time I did this . . .” The right kind of friend will say “Wow you really blew it, give you a hug, wipe away their tears, and say ok what’s your plan to make it right?”
This friend trusts you. They know you made a mistake, but will never see you as a mistake. They trust that you will do the right thing, that you will get back up, that you will courageously face the pain, and they are committed to walking through it with you.
I prayed for 23 years to find a friend like this. I have one. You’ll probably only have one in your lifetime. To prepare for this friendship I had to learn to be accountable to others. I had to learn to confess my faults, admit I was wrong, and to make amends. I had to learn to be vulnerable. I had to learn it is better to have authentic connection even if it means betrayal sometimes.
So start praying for that friend now. Start cultivating the courage to be honest, and vulnerable or you will miss them when God sends them into your life.