May 29

INTEGRITY MONTH: DAY 29: “Nobody will ever take you serious in life, until they know that your yes is yes, and your no is no.” ― Bamigboye Olurotimi

Respect is an interesting concept. I do not respect myself when I do not live in my own truth. This is the case for all of us. When we talk about integrity, it means that I do what I say I am going to do. This means that I must be mindful when I say I am going to do something.

I don’t always know what my word means when I give it. There may be a great deal more to the promise or commitment I make than I understand when I make it. An important concept here is that I need to allow for life to change, for me to change, for more to be revealed. That way, I can recommit to the promise or commitment and renegotiate the terms of this contract.

All relationships are based on this premise. We are all growing and shifting and learning and dying and accommodating life each day. As this happens, we will shift and change the way we walk in the world. I know I could allow others to do and be and say things as a younger woman than I will allow today. This is the natural course of life. More has been revealed.

What I could do emotionally and physically has changed. What I believed about relationships has changed. I love the analogy that I got early on. That there is music playing…and I learned the dance…I know all the steps. BUT, the dance makes me very unhappy, because it somehow violates my greatest sense of myself and my personal beliefs. I did not know this for a long time. BUT I am no longer willing to do the dance. It causes me emotional heartache and I lose my self-respect.

Therefore, the dance no longer feeds my soul. So, I am not going to dance. HOWEVER, the music will play, and my feet may start moving, because it is all very familiar to me. Sometimes, I must leave the building or not go to that place completely, because I am no longer wishing to dance. OR, I may join by habit and have to clean up the mess of having danced against my own higher judgment.
Life is like this, all the time. It is about the relationships we have with others. Do they feed my soul? Is there a known or unknown reason I tolerate unhealthy ones? What is the payoff? Is that lack of self-respect worth the payoff? NEVER!

We cannot transmit something we haven’t got. This is the most basic fact of recovery and life. If I do not respect myself and allow YOU to disrespect me as well, we are not in relationship. That is a hostage situation. Shame on you the first time it happens. From then on, shame on me.

This is my work, the work of my heart. To heal myself to the extent that there are no longer unhealthy or toxic relationships keeping my face in the dirt. This is MY job, not yours. You may dance all you want. As for me, I am dancing with that Universal Power who loves me absolutely and brought the teachers into my life who forced me to see what that really means.

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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