Lacy Alajna Bentley
Sex and Relationship Healing is pleased to partner with Lacy Bentley, host of our Tuesday Women’s Sex/Love Addiction drop-in discussion group and our Thursday Women’s Porn Addiction drop-in discussion group, for our Summer of Love (Addiction). This wonderful series examining women, love addiction, fantasy, pornography, and healing is drawn from Lacy’s book, Addicted to Love.
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In my previous post to this site, we discussed the ways in which self-care plays into accountability. This week, we are looking at the need to be accountable not only to your support network but to your Higher Power and yourself.
As you embark on recovery and healing, being honest in prayer, meditation, mindfulness, or any other form of quiet worship is essential. You can lie to yourself, you can even lie to others, but there is always the truth of an experience, and that is what you need to learn to value. I’m still working on this, and I can tell you that it is critical to a full life. It is also deeply freeing as I come to know there is a space where only truth lives, and that I can access it whenever I am ready.
That said, the single most important person you will be honest with and accountable to is you. Through the recovery and healing process, you will become someone you can count on for support and love. If you take each of the values of recovery into your life, nurture them, and practice them fearlessly, before long, those values will become second nature. The other distractions will fall away and you will be left standing with a person you can be proud of and rely on.
This process starts with being honest with yourself first and always. It won’t be perfect, even decades down the road, but you will get more consistent. For now, just know this is an end goal. As you are fully accountable to and honest with yourself, the rest will fall into place, and integrity will be the natural fruit of your hard work.
One last concept I want to discuss is that accountability is a gift. When others know you will own up to your part, they feel less defensive. This is a gift to them. When you know you have the courage to own your part and you feel that trust start to come in from others, it is a gift to you. Even God is given the gift of not having to remind you of how rarely you are truly a victim, and how often you have much more power than you realize.
We will touch more on accountability in future posts because it is a foundational skill in recovery. In the interim, I suggest that you work to understand and integrate accountability into your life. Ask yourself:
- In what areas of life have I been less than fully accountable?
- In what ways can I be more accountable to myself?
- Are there things I need to be accountable to God for?
- Who are the three to five people I can count on to hold me accountable with love and courage?
- What one small commitment can I make right now to start on my path of being accountable in recovery?
- What scares me the most about being fully accountable?
- Am I afraid I cannot be loved if I make mistakes? Where might this have come from, and what can I do to take my power back now?
Remember, no one is perfect. If you are trying to be, you are not going to be able to do what is necessary to change the path of your life.
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If you or someone you care about is struggling with love addiction, please check out the FREE Women’s Sex/Love Addiction Drop-In Discussion Group on this website, or, for males, any of the FREE Men’s Drop-In Discussion groups for addicts. (Most of the men’s group are listed as sex/porn addiction, but love addicts are welcomed and generally benefit.)