April 19

HONESTY MONTH: DAY 19: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” ― Muriel Rukeyser

This is what happened in our culture, and around the world in the late 1950s and 1960s. Women began to have more free time in their lives during the day than they had previously, and they started gathering together and telling the truth about their lives and what went on in their homes. This began the open discussion of abuse, domestic violence, drinking and drugs, and so on. Today, modern treatment practices can trace their history to this time. As more of us begin to tell the stories about what is really going on, we find that men can and do join us in telling the truth. From this, we have learned that what was, at first, believed to be somewhat isolated incidence of these phenomenon is, in reality, quite widespread and more common than we thought. This is how we know that 1 in 3 women have been sexually abused at one time in their lives and that 1 in 4 men have had the same kinds of experiences. This takes so much stigma out of the equation! When a group of abused people can sit together and discuss their feelings and beliefs around these things, healing begins. 12-Step recovery also began to experience exponential growth during the late 1950s and early 1960s, because women refused to keep secrets any longer. These things have brought healing to the world in ways that never could have happened before that. Now we have programs and research and therapies to support healing. The advent of over 300 12-step programs around the world points to the efficacy of healing that is found in those rooms. As we take the 4th Step and become more honest than we had previously been, we begin to find freedom from those dirty secrets and shameful ways of living that were part and parcel of our addiction. And just like that, the world HAS split open. Even when we are doubted and disbelieved, we can tell our truth and let it become a healing of something we held on to like a treasure. We truly are, in my experience, as sick as our secrets. If we are holding on to something that would harm our lives if it were to be disclosed, we are not living in the Sunlight of the Spirit. It is not that we need to tell everyone in the line at the grocery store, but we do need to let go of the shame and remorse created around our “dirty little secrets”. This is possible when we practice rigorous honesty and the spiritual practices of recovery we have received for no other reason than we screwed up our lives and the Universe has found us worthy of something much better and more beautiful than we could have possibly deserved.

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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