April 21

HONESTY MONTH: DAY 21: “It’s not about going around trying to stir up trouble. As long as you’re honest and you articulate what you believe to be true, somebody somewhere will become your enemy whether you like it or not.” ― Criss Jami

So that is what I see in the world, although this sounds somewhat jaded to me. The real difference, I believe, is in holding back what I think and believe unless having that engaged conversation with someone who is asking me what I think and believe. Just spouting opinions is offensive, even if I agree with the person doing the spouting. This has been a challenging lesson to learn. I once believed that if you were alive, you needed to know and hear my opinions about nearly everything. That is not how it is for me today. I found how painful it can be when others want to advise me, without my having asked, on things that I do not consider them to be any type of authority or particularly well-versed in. I once had a person who insisted she was my “best friend”, although it never seemed to be true to me. She consistently found it necessary to make nasty comments about my personal style of dressing and appearance. All the time! I did not say anything for a very long time, because I knew she did this with everyone. This went on for years, and numerous people would ask me why I continued to allow her to spout her nasty comments around me. I believed she needed a friend, so I did my best to be one and to ignore her behavior. For probably 15 years or more this went on. Finally, one day she did something that I found unforgiveable at the time when my husband was in his last weeks of life. I had to tell her I was done, just done, with her insensitive comments and selfishness. She continued to hound me for a couple more years, invading my home when I wasn’t there and believing she had the right to call me after I told her to not call, because she wanted to make amends. I held my ground and did not contact her. When I moved to the place where I currently live, she called me and asked if she could spend an hour with me. I thought she was going to make amends, but no. I told her what had caused me to tell her to stop contacting me and explained how her behavior and unthinking (and unasked for) critiques of my personal style, my life and everything she came in contact with were offensive and uncalled for. She agreed to stop doing that, but was back at it within a few days. I told her I was done with that and have not heard from her since. So I get a mirror from others, quite often, of those things that I have been guilty of doing in the past. And it taught me to stop giving my opinions when they were not asked for. So I seldom find myself stirring up trouble, because I seldom engage in sharing opinions unless there is a purpose for it. It is not the best social skill anyway.

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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