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Accountability IS Sustainability



The Whole Person Blog: Week Four, Day Five, Part 1/2 - Accountability IS Sustainability

Writings inspired by Fr. Richard Rohr: Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps

Video presentation based on the book here

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020


Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.


"As any good therapist will tell you, you cannot heal what you do not acknowledge, and what you do not consciously acknowledge will remain in control of you from within, festering, and destroying you and those around you. When human beings "admit" to one another "the exact nature of their wrongs," we invariably have a human and humanizing encounter that deeply enriches both sides–and even changes lives–often forever! It is no longer an exercise to achieve moral purity, or regain God's love, but in fact, a direct encounter with God's love. It is not about punishing one side but liberating both sides."


This Step reminds me of a framework I've developed, called the Experience Wheel. Imagine four spokes on a wheel, starting at "9" and working back towards "12." Symptoms (9) --> Behaviors (6) --> Beliefs (3) --> Experiences (12).


Symptoms are the challenges the Individual is encountering

  • i.e., Anxiety

Behaviors are self-expressions contributing to the Symptoms

  • i.e., People-pleasing

Beliefs are the worldviews the Individual possesses

  • i.e., I'm happy when I make others happy

Experiences were the events responsible for forming limiting

  • i.e., Parents had high expectations; they could never be reached, I could never make them happy

The takeaway from the Wheel is painful Experiences create limiting Beliefs, that drive protective Behaviors, and lead to unwanted Symptoms. This model supports the conversation of sharing the exact nature of one's "wrongs," and more importantly, it helps them understand WHY they did/are doing WHAT they did/are doing, leading to compassion, self-acceptance, healing, and transformation. The power of speaking one's story is that it disassociates their Experiences from their Identity. It empowers them to say: YES that happened to me, and NO, that's not who I am! And inevitably, what always follows this statement is freedom of The Whole Person: MindBodySpirit.


The Experience Wheel will be a framework we deeply explore in The

Whole Person Project that will liberate you from the painful experiences of your past. Freedom is available on February 12th.


"Sin and failure are, in fact, the setting and opportunity for the transformation and enlightenment of the offender." Richard Rohr

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