Personal Entry: Failure and Accountability

Accountability. It is a scary thing sometimes. It is great when you are doing well. It is fine when you have a hiccup or two. It becomes harder when you realize you screwed up bad and feel that if you own up to it the consequences will only get worse. Of course, trying to hide or lie about things will always make the situation worth. As they say, three things cannot be hidden for long, the sun. the moon, and the truth. Generally I am good with accountability. Because I have worked hard to get into the first two areas, especially as a Jedi. I have had some major wrong turns and done some completely boneheaded things (I have more than a few examples of good intentions paving the road to hell for me). But over the years I have learned from these experiences and sought to better myself for them. Yet the Jedi Path is not one of Mastery. It isn’t a craft that you gain a certain level of skill in and are good to good from that point forward. It is fluid. It is lived every day. And each moment is a Jedi Trial. Each moment you have a chance to fail at being a Jedi. I recently had that moment (we’ll get there) and I am stuck in my head about it. So it is time to be open and honest about that failure. Of course there are people in the Jedi Community who follow my material just for this moment. Looking for that thing they can use against me or try to hold over my head. People who want to tear down. And knowing you have those people circling your life can add a bit of trepidation to owning up. But here we go….

In my life I have lost my shit a total of three times. And I mean where I was barely in control of my actions. And by control I mean I was just vaguely enough aware of myself and actions that horrible things like severe bodily harm wasn’t a likely outcome. Twice was when the person I was in a relationship with physically attacked me with the full intent of seriously injuring me. In that situation I yelled, and pushed, and slammed doors until there was a hole. I teetered on the edge of physical violence (a byproduct of poor life choices as a kid, though never an excuse for such behavior, especially as an adult years removed). It was a horrible moment in my life. I figured myself a Jedi and yet here I was, pushed to the point of being everything I stand against. It was a very scary thing for me to realize; That under the right situation I would revert to that angry lashing out selfish child. Anger was a challenge for me as a kid as were my insecurities. But I have been interested in, studying, training, and living the Jedi Path for most of my adult life. And there have been times where I felt I had it. You know? That I just was good, a Jedi, through and through.

The first time I completely lost myself was when I was living in Michigan. I knew how a situation was going to end, but for some reason I had gotten my hopes up. I allowed myself that beautiful lie. And when it came crashing down I freaked out. And that is no exaggeration. Two people were there to witness this wonderful display of pure emotional breakdown. Hysteria. Tears, shouting, broken laughter, self-inflicted pain (though nothing major, I have always been horrible at that. A high self-preservation system I guess). But for whatever reason – I got off the phone and just completely lost it. The control being that I had thoughts of seriously injuring myself, suicide, and all that nonsense. But again, just enough self-control to stop myself. Just enough self-awareness and compassion not to inflict that mess upon my two roommates watching me stomp around the apartment completely distraught.

Again. You learn. You grow. You seek to be better. Took me a long while. In fact a lot of my growth there was smokescreen growth. It looked like was improving and such, but it was just a mask. As evidenced by the two freak-outs listed above. Though, to be fair, those second ones were much more out of blue. Still I had not progressed enough to handle such a situation. Clearly.

The problem. Last week was the fourth time I lost myself. I allowed myself to get stuck in my head full of thoughts with little rationale attached to them. I should have called someone. I should have reached out to my Jedi friends and expressed my situation. More than that I should have talked to the person who these thoughts all related to. Instead I bottled up (a Jedi 101 No-No) and when it came time to address the elephant in the room I freaked out. And said and did dumb things. Okay. I said Horrible things. All to a person who didn’t deserve it. It takes two in any situation and I had my justification all lined up before, during, and somewhat after (though mostly after I just felt/feel like a complete failure and shitbag). And the consequences have been real and might be lasting. I have no answer there, no solution, no movie saving moment which brings happily ever after.

The point. Failure. I failed horribly as a Jedi that day. I failed as person. As a boyfriend. I let things get away from me. Obviously not just that day, but fears and insecurities and stresses that I thought I was handling, but quiet clearly was not. I was falling into the trap of needing to be strong for someone and thus was not communicating my own worries. Again, this I find to be a failure on my part. I know better. I have lived better. I have trained better than all of that. Yet it happened.

Jedi isn’t about mastery. It is about the day-to-day. This is why the five practices are daily. The five goals, daily. It is a daily thing. And it can get away from you. If you allow your self-discipline and accountability to slip, it will get away from you. Fortunately for most of us, when it does it is usually little hiccups. Mine, due to my unique situation created a much harder landing. And I write all of this where it can be seen by anyone for accountability purposes. Jedi are not perfect. Being a Jedi for a whole bunch of years does not mean one is infallible. I cannot express fully my regret for my stupidity. And for anyone reading I am sorry. That apology will mean different things to different people. But there it is. I messed up. I failed. And now I must begin the long road back to improving and being better for it. Which is always difficult. Thank you for reading.