May 18

INTEGRITY MONTH: DAY 18: “Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.” ― J.C. Watts Jr.

I remember believing that there was no problem if I did not get caught doing something. I got away with quite a bit and caught sometimes, too. There were a lot of stories around all of that.

Today I am more mindful each day. I read and practice spiritual principles that resonate with me. Most of you know, if you have been with me on these writings for any period of time, that I examine deeply the beliefs that I find along this path. I hold them up to the light and look to see where the sun shines through and where I don’t resonate with them.

There are a lot of things I have held up to the light and discarded as not being truth for me. We all get to do this for ourselves. I think the supreme laziness comes from blindly accepting what others say as truth in order to save ourselves the examination process.

Now, that being said, I will also add that I have had some basic truths be shifted into another frame of light over these years. What was true one day may have been seen from a deeper point of view later on and discarded. Or revised to more accurately portray my beliefs as they evolve.

I heard someone say this at a meeting when I was new, and he was taking a 16 year cake. Unheard of! 16 years…omg! I was astonished. And I never, ever forgot that he equated recovery with integrity. He did not talk about integrity, he talked about recovery being the thing where he followed all the rules, even when no one was looking.

The rules are not those handed down by other entities, be they church, religion, science, parents, our home owners’ association, or whomever. They are the ones written deeply in our hearts, our spirits, our places where we know and honor OUR truths. That is where they matter.

For all these years, I have held on to that man and his statement and believed and followed it. One day, I was driving along in my car and listening to the radio, which was the last time I did that. On the news, came this incredible news broadcast of the bombing of Baghdad in 1989 or 1990. OMG! I could not stand the gloating of the voice of the reporter. He was triumphant, and I was devastated beyond words. I pulled over because I was sobbing hysterically at the thought that someone could be so celebratory about war and bombing people anywhere, no matter who they were.

I remember thinking, maybe no one can see me crying. I don’t want anyone to know how upset I am. I do not know why I was concerned about this, but I was. Then, something really funny (amazing!) happened. I suddenly KNEW in my guts that all the people I had ever loved who were now gone from this place could see me, all the time, no matter what I did…and that there was an Entity, that Universal Power, that could see me all the time, too. (My immediate thought was ‘even when I pick my nose.’)

Hahahaha…I don’t know why THAT was the thinking, but there was SO MUCH relief that everything I did and said and felt and believed was in view…in the open.

I felt SO busted and SO happy at the same time. And at perfect peace with all of it. There have been many moments of spiritual connection since that day. But that one has always informed me about integrity…because there is ALWAYS someone looking. My spirit, connected with the Spirit of All That Is and Ever Will Be. YAY! This is the best news ever!

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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