April 10

HONESTY MONTH: DAY 10: “For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and to provide for it.” – Patrick Henry

I think true freedom lies in the truth. Whatever it is that I want in life, it must be achieved in honest terms. It must be obtained in honorable ways.

I used to love shortcuts, lies, getting something for nothing. Today I am willing to overpay, if necessary for something that has value to me. I want to imbue my life with honor and integrity. Therefore, I must face whatever the Universe has going on and live into that place.

I had an interesting experience this last weekend. I was watching people and their attraction to things. It was attraction (and mine) to things that are considered “valuable” and dear. These were mostly baubles. I don’t know if it is human nature to want to be adorned in things that are shiny and “pretty” or if it is a cultural acquisition.

I do know that we all want to be around “pretty” people, or those whom we deem to be attractive. We even use that word to describe them, because we feel the magnetic pull to be around them. We also feel a pull to be around things that are considered beautiful.

The good thing about this is the things can vary, and some of us want diamonds and some of us want rubies or emeralds.

We adorn ourselves in clothing that we think is attractive, rather than comfortable, most of the time. We adorn ourselves in shiny objects because we believe they make us more attractive. It is an interesting way of being in this world.

I know I, for one, have gone through periods where I wore lots more makeup, nails were always polished in bright colors, tons of jewelry and had way too many clothes. This was my time of low self-esteem, as I see it. I was dressing up the outside to feel better in the world, because my inside self felt unacceptable and unattractive.

I still love to dress up a bit, but it is so different! For one thing, I wear almost no real jewelry. I wear funky bracelets on one arm and malas most of the time. Occasionally, a ring or a dolphin necklace. I do not polish my nails or wear the makeup I once did. I do not style my hair or get it cut and fluffed all the time. Nor do I color it any longer. My only concession to my outside appearance is that I ADORE shoes, all kinds of shoes. They brighten my spirit and I am quite addicted to them.

But I have watched others for many years, most of them who are recovering, who cannot leave the house without makeup and their “uniform.” They do not like the way the look, so they distort their faces with surgeries and injections. Who knows what is under all that? They spend billions of dollars in cosmetic work to appear younger than they are, or whatever their goal, and to be “attractive” to others because they are uncomfortable with their appearance.

Others may be attractive, and that is all they work on. They believe, sadly, that they only have that to offer. They are insecure around their ability to BE their authentic selves in the world around them. What if we all took off our masks of ego; our degrees, our shoes (sigh!), our clothing, our homes, our cars, our makeup and nails and jewelry, all of it? What would we be? Human? Addicts in recovery? Present to the moment and our part in it? Just wondering, just wondering.

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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