May 9

INTEGRITY MONTH: DAY 9: “The most empowering act we can do is to be real, to tell the truth and to be free of anything that holds us back. That freedom unburdens our shoulders and allows us to move forward in our journey to greatness” ― Bluenscottish

This kind of integrity is something I can always live with. I struggle with rigid guidelines of my internal sense of right and wrong. I have that. It is unrelenting sometimes and needs to soften to accommodate real-life situations and conditions.

This is something I have imposed on myself and others that can be too black and white. There is life that happens in the gray areas. I am always mindful of needing to allow for that. All the time. I really want to flow with life, not stand upright in the face of it and refuse to bend or allow for the flow.

Rigidity like that is another form of Ego, fear that I won’t be okay if I am not right. Fear of what can happen if I lose, even for a moment, that inner compass that I rely so much upon in the world around me. It keeps me safe, which is another way of it keeps me away from  people.

Most of my issues with safety are around interface with other people. I am not good at social interaction, so I avoid it and put up boundaries and barriers to support that. I have many unwritten and strongly internalized “rules” for how it should be for me to be safe.

This is the crux of what I discover through the inventory process that I have repeated so many times in my recovery. I get to look at the old ideas that drive my life in unlovely ways. The idea of harm and safety are not reality, but they are behind so much of what I do and believe.

Healing these old ideas means that they crop up, over and over. And they do this to be healed. At a deeper level each time. Keeping you at a distance is a way for me to never have to engage in unsafe relationships. My ego tells me that all relationships are unsafe. I might be exposed or ridiculed or tricked or lied to or any number of unsafe situations.

Because they may have hurt me before, or so the story goes, they will hurt me again. What I fail to recognize, every time, is that my healing is a journey through those stories, not around them. Oh! And so I get to step out of that supposed safety space into dangerous waters of engagement and becoming more and more that spiritual entity I came here to grow into.

I love when I am sitting in the midst of these things. It feels very powerful to shift the story. And so I keep coming back, because I get to look at the old (not very healthy) ideas and to become softer around those spaces where I hold back who I am to accommodate some ego-sense of identity that is never real to begin with. This, today, is my real truth.

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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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