May 14

INTEGRITY MONTH: DAY 14: “Everyone says they have a line they won’t cross, but when everyone around you is crossing it and making a new line further and further into the distance, it takes a strong person to say no and walk away.” ― Steve McHugh

Yeah, this is some of what I am experiencing in my life today. So interesting how these daily writings and the workbook I am doing are both on target with this. As I develop personal boundaries and ethical guidelines for who I want to be in the world, I see that I am walking to the beat of a different drummer quite often.

I may have to do that more and more as I move through my life. I get to make choices and decisions that are quite against popular opinion. Like THAT ever changed anything for me anyway! Yeah, not so much. I do what I say I am going to do when I say I am going to do it and it gives me a sense of stability when I am able to keep my word. That is, by the way, the definition I was taught of what Integrity is. That I do what I say I will do, when I say I will do it. And I clean up any messes I make when I overcommit or make promises I cannot keep.

I seldom have lines I won’t cross, life is too arbitrary for me to be that rigid. I do, however, have some guidelines for how I want to live. I maintain a certain path I want to adhere to, no matter what happens. This is an important factor in how I do what I do.

I teach people how to not be involved in things that interfere with another person’s path. I am adamant about doing that. I want to always allow every other person the dignity of making their own choices and living their own truth. That does not mean I don’t care, but that this is the highest path of love I know. I do not believe that we get to run interference in others’ lives, except when that is the nature of the relationship.

Even then, the only thing I will do, especially in sponsorship, is to teach people what I see in what they are doing and invite them to choose another path. I will often tell them what I have had to do to walk a new road in recovery. Many will choose to keep doing their old behaviors and maintain their old attitudes. I don’t play here. It is a matter of change. If you don’t want to change, I will eventually allow you to work with someone who wants to continue to hear your sad stories.

We get to see all of this stuff in Step 5. We get to see how WE are the problem, with our old attitudes and beliefs and behaviors; and we are blaming it all on YOU. I love that! It is never anything other than that simple.

I can help you see why you developed this pattern. There are a lot of reasons we acted like this when we were two or three years old. When you are 30, 40, 50, or 60 and still doing it, it has been a long time coming to a new way of doing it.

I don’t know if this is the path of strength. I know for a fact it is the path less taken. It is what we resist that will stay in our faces until we come to terms with who we really are in the situation. All is perfect in this seemingly crazy Universe. It is OUR job to see the perfection, not try to rearrange it to suit our crazy ego!

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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