May 18

INTEGRITY MONTH: DAY 18: “Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won’t cheat, then you know he never will. Integrity is not a search for the rewards of integrity. Maybe all you ever get for it is the largest kick in the ass the world can provide. It is not supposed to be a productive asset.” ― John D. MacDonald

I love the idea that all rewards are intrinsic in nature. I believe that. The feeling I have when I know I have done something with which I do not feel aligned is horrible. I don’t expect Universal punishment. It is enough that I know I am doing or did the wrong thing.

That is all part of the learning process, I believe. I want to act in accordance with the highest and the best I know. Sometimes that line is unclear to me. I am not sure that is true, but it feels that way. There are not hard and fast rules for this stuff. It often feels that I have to live into each situation. I most often intuitively know how to proceed.

When it involves others and their behavior, and how I respond to that, I can be misled. If it is either my own codependence or the rigidity of my values, I waiver. I am unclear. It is a situation-by-situation business. I just know I cannot always resolve it long-term and have to take it one day at a time.

But I DO know that I have values that preclude either my own or others’ being less than honest and integral. I lose respect and trust in anything less. Don’t we all?
I am not speaking about the kind of honesty that doesn’t take things from me. I mean the kind where I am stolen from emotionally and spiritually.

The concepts of Vedic teaching are very important to me. They are probably my greatest yardstick for this stuff. The concept of non-stealing is so important, because it speaks deeply to not stealing my life by taking time away from me that is not used skillfully and honorably. Or that I do not freely give. I have had this happen and it is really hard to sit with.

All in all, the process of deepening my commitment to my own spiritual growth is solitary. I cannot make anyone else want to walk this good red road. So I must, as we all know, walk it a great deal alone. I am so okay with that and getting better every day.

What I feel for the path and the way I walk it is the only concern I have today. And I am grateful for this path.

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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