April 21

HONESTY MONTH: DAY 21: “It was a huge comfort to have a person who’d keep you honest with yourself and who also gave you safe harbour.” ― Lauren Dane

It is safe when we are with someone who can and does tell us the truth. It feels good to know that we are loved by someone enough that they will tell us the truth. I know I will always love my sponsors who have been able to do this. I have had about 7 or 8 of them, but only 3 were women I truly trusted with my stuff completely.

They have no agenda, other than for me to see what is really going on and to dispel my BS when they hear it coming up. They do not allow me to wallow in the stories I want to create about “poor little Kelly.” Thank God for that kind of love.

It can only happen, for me, in that relationship. I do not accept this very often from others who think they know me. I have a few of those people around. But I let them know, when they insist on giving me their opinions, that I don’t remember asking. It is rude to blast our opinions at others, and I am okay with letting them know it.

If I am the reason they stop and think the next time they want to offer unsolicited advice, so be it. I don’t really care about that. It may be safer for someone else to be in that space afterwards. We get to teach each other how to be better humans around here.

I used to just avoid or run away from (active avoidance, yeah, I know!) those who offended me. Now I get to say something. It may be offensive for them…Hallelujah…but I am good with it. I get to have a teaching moment with them, and some folks actually get it.

Some don’t. None of my business. But it feels more integral than just walking away with hurt feelings or the initial twinges of a resentment. I can do the work, but I feel more powerful owning it more fully. I may change my stance on this one day. God knows these things have changed over the years. But I cannot find a better way to deal with people who insist on thinking they have a superior opinion to offer than what I am receiving from my trusted advisors.

My sponsors have all had varying degrees of approval with this. Most of the time, they let me be myself, because they do not have to live with the consequences of how I handle awkward and uncomfortable social situations.

If I like someone, I will do the work of letting them know that I will ask when I want their opinions. Since I don’t, please keep it to yourself. I practice that rule of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It keeps us all in a good space with each other.

I do NOT practice this with my sponsees. They get full truth, just like I do from my sponsor. I don’t have time to pat people on the butt and say, “Aw honey. It will all be fine.” BS! We have changes to make, or we would not have been brought to this place. We get to WORK this stuff until it begins to work us. Running away from difficult situations and people or pretending that I approved or you trying to tell me what the _____ to do is not how I roll. It never worked for me, and it still doesn’t. Now THAT is the truth!

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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