Saturday, April 6, 2013

You have to trudge through Honesty to get to Integrity

The Topic for discussion today is Honesty.

Honesty:  'The quality or fact of being honest; uprightness and fairness', as stated in the dictionary.  Truthfulness, sincerity and frankness are a few words associated with honesty. The third line in the dictionary states,'freedom from deceit or fraud'.  These are all hard hitting, obvious terms of honesty.  The types of honesty that we are already aware of lacking before we come in to the rooms.

(Unless we are of the darkest nature and this is a place of governing for us.  for which then we have our work cut out for us in the Twelve steps and that transformation is the one people cherish the most)

What about the Archaic meaning, 'Virtue or respect'.  I love the word Integrity, what does the formal meaning of that stand for?  'Adherence to moral and ethical principals; soundness of moral character; honesty.'  The dictionary also says in the second line that Integrity which boils down to honesty is a state of being whole.

Being Whole.  Whole being.  State of wholeness.......

.........And there is the ultimate truth of the program for which we so lovingly work.  That is the end result of Step twelve, after having worked the program to the deepest of our ability.  Our ultimate truth.. Our wholeness... comes from Our ability to become fully honest.

I love the concept of honesty, its perception from people ranges as wide as the people willing to journey with it.  Honesty is like layers of an onion, with each peel you realize there is still more work to be done.

When I first came in to the program I was aware of the first definition of honesty.  Don't tell bold lies.  Don't steal or cheat.  Abide by the laws, don't kill or maim, speed or run anyone over...... so on and so forth.  I am sure you get my drift.  It was the obvious path of what is honest and what is dishonest. The black and white that creates the rebellion in each of us.

 I didn't so much live a dishonest life, I was far to chicken shit for that, what I was though is dishonest with myself.  I had no idea who I was when I came in to the program.  I was what everyone else wanted me to be.  I was unable to recognize my own feelings and thoughts around situations and that caused a dishonesty towards myself.  Even when I could not ignore the screams that came from inside me when I was embarking on a situation that went against my better judgement I just ignored it.

That was the honesty that I really had to learn when I came in to the program.  Being honest with myself first.  The Laws will keep me honest in the outer world, learning to get honest within my own being was a much harder task to take on. Accountability is the issue with self honesty.   It was very uncomfortable when my sponsor would point out something that didn't match the way I was acting to truly how I felt within.  Getting to know my sponsor and letting my support group in to the deepest regions of my being is the way that I began to learn who I was.   It was through talking things out over and over that I began to define my own self honesty.

Let me inject a life example of one of those situations that I had to talk out over and over and over and over.....

Being in a romantic relationship that in my past would have equated with Love, was showered with truth as I became honest with myself.  What others seen from day one,  took me almost two years to figure out.  I am grateful for the integrity of my support group for allowing me to walk through that journey and not rob me of the lessons that I derived from that experience   As I fell in love with myself through out the course of that relationship I also fell in love with him.  It was in that state of love that I had to finally look at that relationship closely.  I had to set priorities and define values for myself and my daughter, both are forms of self honesty.  In the end I realized the relationship broke to many of my boundaries and ignored to many values.  I had to get honest with myself and walk away.

Heart wrenching.

Well I guess while I am in this open place of dug up pain let me share another experience of  honesty.

Sneaky avenues of dishonesty creep up on us as well.  I experienced not to long ago a pretty humiliating form that had me questioning the Value of my self worth.  I was at a basketball game of my younger daughter watching with my oldest daughter.  I was sharing excitedly with her about an encounter I had with an old client of mine that also has a child on the basketball team.  As I was sharing the story I was embellishing the facts.  I wasn't lying per-say  just making it more exciting by adding in really colourful words that the person hadn't actually spoken but I am sure she would have had she been in my head.  At the end of the story when my daughter was laughing at the punchline I looked up to see the person I was talking about staring right at me with a horrified look.

Boulder drops to the pit of my stomach.

 I was rudely awakened to another layer of honesty in that moment.  For the rest of that day I questioned why I needed to add all the flavour to the story.  Was the punchline of the tale not good enough?  Or was it me that needed to be seen in a better light?  In the end I realized there was a whole can of worms between my oldest daughter and myself(my main using partner) that needed to be addressed   I really needed to get honest about the type of relationship her and I have.  I also needed to get honest about my own self worth and the need to exaggerate just to be noticed.  I stumbled into a honesty mine field that day and I did not come out unscathed, let me tell ya.

There are many many things getting honest will shed light on in your life. From my experience it will be painfully humiliating if you are not willing to see it for yourself.

Honesty in the dictionary leads ultimately to wholeness.  Peeling back all the layers of dishonesty in my life has helped me to begin to unearth the universal truth that I am perfect and whole in myself.  I don't need to pretend  to be someone I am not to be whole.  I don't need a romantic partner to be whole.  I don't need a career or dynamic vocational label to be whole.  I don't need my kids to be whole.  I am whole all by myself.   This to me is what peeling the layers of honesty is worth.

When I was ready my virtues began to appear and I began to show myself respect.  We can only give  what we have to give.  What I lacked in Love and Respect during both those encounters was given to me through humility.  Now that I am no longer ignorant to Love and Respect I can pay that forward.   I pray for not so humiliating lessons now and try to stay in my integrity in all that I do.  Thats all I can do as I know I am only half way through my onion.

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