April 18

HONESTY MONTH: DAY 18: “As you grow up, always tell the truth, do no harm to others, and don’t think you are the most important being on earth. Rich or poor, you then can look anyone in the eye and say, ‘I’m probably no better than you, but I’m certainly your equal.” ― Harper Lee

I don’t know about anyone else, but this was NOT how I learned to grow up. I was taught to lie and steal and try to get over on others in order to get my own needs met; so I was ill-prepared to practice this thing called honesty or honor. I never knew what it felt like to feel equal to anyone. I learned to tell myself that I was better than some and quite inadequate to most. I never believed I was enough, or had enough or would be enough unless I embellished (heavily) on the truth. So I had these elaborate stories for everyone I met. It was much later that I began to tell the real story; but even then, it was to gain your attention and/or to get over on you. I have learned in this thing how to reframe my story and to tell it from the vantage point of ‘here’s how it is’ instead of the dramatic version I told for so long. Every event has been reframed in this manner, because it is all a story…the big “SO WHAT?” I love that I finally feel equal to others…no better and no less. I know I am not the most important being on earth (that took some time!) and I walk in as much truth as I am able to embrace; I work at doing not only no harm, but at being kind and helpful. I have had lots of money and little money and am okay with where that is today. I do some things well and others not so good and some things not at all. I am grateful for knowing when others have skills that I may envy, but that I can either emulate or honor them for having. I no longer have to knock them down to size so I can feel adequate. I had a boss once who would respond to the query “how are you?” with “I am adequate” because we all felt so damned inadequate for so long…I resonate with that. Being an overachiever like I am, I always want to say “GREAT!” or “FABULOUS!”. I have to remind myself that being adequate, content and enough is the goal I shoot for most of the time. My grandiosity is in play when I am any more than that. So I work to keep myself right-sized in this arena as well. Today I feel peaceful and calm and content with my life. I have no issues to discuss unless I dig around and create something. That may seem boring to some of you, but it is the best me I ever got to live with…and I dig the shit outta that. There is no embellishment necessary. I am ordinary in some really good ways, but ordinary nonetheless. I am content because all my needs are met today and I am grateful that I am not dreaming up what I might want or need tomorrow to drive me crazy. I am peaceful because I am right with the world around me. I have made peace with situations that could bug me but that I have accepted and let go of controlling. I am spiritually fit, because I have examined my life and found no areas that need to be cleaned up. I feel good about the way I have lived so far today and my plans are easy to accomplish or change to fit anything life may throw at me right now. So I will finish this writing and get on with the other things I have on my list for today, unless the Universe lets me know there is something else for me. Peace!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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