April 11

HONESTY MONTH: DAY 11: “For the believer, humility is honesty about one’s greatest flaws to a degree in which he is fearless about truly appearing less righteous than another.” ― Criss Jami

When we do Step 4, we seldom realize that we are listing our faults, not others. We begin this journey with a list of every asshole we have ever known, that resentment list.

Family members, spouses, children, etc. are likely to be the most frequent flyers on this list, along with employers and others we have long-term relationships with. The more they are in our lives, the more often they are going to be on the list.

And THEN, we are going to write about what idiots they are and all the crap they have done to upset us and break our little hearts. Now, granted, some of the stuff others have done may be seriously wrong, but it is amazing how much of the inventory is about OUR involvement in the situation.

I did not understand this for a bit. It was all about THEM, THEIR poor treatment of poor little Kelly. Then I got to see who the real asshole is. Selfish and self-centered…Check! Liable to steal, cheat and lie to get what I thought I wanted from everyone? Conning? Manipulative? Judgmental? Dishonorable? Check!

Now the inventory was about ME, not the assholes, just one asshole. Ugh!

And I got to see this from the very beginning. I was willing to look into the mirror of all my old ideas and how my fear created this monster I was not proud of being. I could no longer justify or excuse who I had been and how badly I was behaving.

I used my body as a bargaining chip for what I thought I needed and was really pissed off that it was not appreciated more by others than what I was giving myself.

Oh! And  Oh! Dammit! I was surprised to learn so many of my behaviors and how they were not healthy, so could never be used to create loving, long-lasting relationships. I kept selling myself, and others, short in every way. No wonder I was alone and lonely and afraid. I was living like a caged animal and treating myself and others like hostages in so many ways. Oh!

And blaming them for not meeting my expectations, when I was completely unaware of what they were! Oh! And expecting all of YOU to know what I needed and wanted when I was completely unclear about these things myself. As if it was YOUR responsibility to meet my needs. Oh!

It is NOT your responsibility. It is MINE. And I did not know that. Now I do. Now I take care of me and that makes me happiest and most fulfilled. You are here to take care of YOU. Okay.

Now I can have healthy relationships with healthy people. When they are willing to be healthy and participate in their own recovery, I can join them. If not, I am going to keep a distance. That is still a healthy relationship and a healthy boundary.

I love this step! Always have…it is amazing and perfect for me. No use to rewrite or re-create it, it works perfectly just as it is. All I have to do is be willing to be honest.

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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