May 1

INTEGRITY MONTH: DAY 1: “Because he had nothing to hide, he did perhaps appear to have forfeited a little of his strength. But that is the irony of honesty.” ― Patrick White

This quote doubled as either Honesty or Integrity. I find that they are consistently the same thing. The biggest difference is in how they pan out in living them. I know I cannot be one without the other. If I say I am going to do something and I do not, I am not honest or integral.

I may be willing and have good intentions, but if I do not put it into motion, I am missing both points. I love this quote, because we see honesty and integrity as weakness in our social climate. I think that is sad.

My integrity has proven to be the harder of the two qualities to live with. It means I accept others at face value, but I cannot abide with their dishonesty or lack of integrity in my life. I will keep them at an arm’s distance, because I am not comfortable with either of these components missing in those I will walk down the road with.

Because of that, I may accept a lot of people, but I cannot tolerate them in my personal space because it feels like old times for me. Dishonest people are uncomfortable for me today. That is weird, considering where I came from. I am often surprised and shocked about this.

I may know all the old stories and my codependence will do a tap dance around it, but I cannot pretend it is okay for very long. I get really angry. This has happened twice for me in the last few months. I get to do a process on it and then tell my truth. It means I have ended some things in my life that I did not see coming. Or that I pretended very hard were okay.

I find that recovery and spiritual development can be very lonely roads at times. I have no family to speak of, so there is a lot of space that gets opened up for me when I practice honor and integrity. I have to honor the work I have done and let others find the way without me. That is not always as easy as I would like it to be.

It is like being with the wrong person in any relationship. We can pretend and pretend it is okay, but we are miserable inside because it is not possible to fake relationships. I used to pull it off for years at a time, but cannot do it any longer. When we are talking about recovering people, this is a terrific challenge, because we know from the onset that they are coming to us for their own process. If they cannot or will not do it, then we have to let them go.

So, life goes on and we keep living and working these steps and the road gets narrower and narrower, which means I travel it alone a lot more than I used to. I am okay with that. I love my own company. I will continue to know that integrity is, for me, always going to be the right road, no matter how narrow.

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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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