May 20

INTEGRITY MONTH: DAY 20: “The distance between your knowledge of truth and your obedience is called lack of integrity. And the amount of negative behavior–or lack of integrity–a person exhibits is directly proportional to their amount of pain.” ― Tara Leigh Cobble

I have suffered terribly at my own hands. We all do. My sense of shame and remorse was horrible in the days coming to this place. The hatred I felt for myself was so intense, I could not live another minute with ME. Inside ME.

Sometimes, I wake up with a sense of the dread I used to live with. It is overwhelming, because things have changed so much in my life today. I have not felt this way in a long time, and it is crippling to feel how I felt then. I had no honor, no self-respect or sense of being a good human.

I am a good human today. I am not always behaving with perfect adherence to my own internal code, but I do really well most of the time.

I can live with me, and sleep with me, knowing I am right with the world. In my life, it is always a good day to die, because I leave behind no messes. That matters to my heart and my spirit. Not much else does.

What the world around me cherishes and honors matters little to me. I am not interested in the shiny things of the world today, although I can get caught there just like anyone else. But I AM interested in having a clean and shiny soul. I want to wipe out all of the wrongs I did and clean up those things I was so desperately ashamed of long ago.

I don’t live like that person any longer. Thank you for these indicators of a life well lived. I did an exercise many years ago with setting goals. We began by writing (and rewriting several dozen times!) the 5 sentences I wanted to see on my tombstone about ME. They were in the following areas of life: Family and friends; Spiritual/religious; Physical; Career; Financial; and Creative.

What a great way to define who I WILL be! And then the setting of goals is who you want to be on the day you die and how to live into it. I have taught workshops on this for years. I love doing this! We get to decide and live into becoming the person we want to be on the day we die!

Then we break it down into how we live into that space, one year at a time, one month at a time, one day at a time and how that will eventually unfold. Then we get to set an overall Mission Statement of how our lives will unfold.
I first did this work in the early 1990s. I must say that I have lived into this experience more fully than I ever imagined possible. There are a few things left for me to do, so I hope I get to do them. But, the spiritual and creative parts of this have been met many times over. I am happy that I did not focus so much on the career and financial parts, except to define how much of those things would be devoted more to service than money and riches. This, too, has come to pass.

When we look at who we want to be, we know how to get there. Otherwise, we just focus on wanting this thing and then that thing, and so on. There is no true sense of where that goes. And, I must say, although there have been some terrifically scary times in this journey, my path was true. I seldom had to wonder WHAT to do or HOW to do it. I just did not always understand some of the U-turns and seemingly dead-end streets. And I am happy with how I have navigated them all today.

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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