May 1

INTEGRITY MONTH: DAY 1: “I want us all to grow so comfortable in our own feelings, our own knowing, our own imagination that we become more committed to our own joy, freedom, and integrity than we are to manipulating what others think of us. I want us to refuse to betray ourselves. Because what the world needs now in order to evolve is to watch one woman at a time live her truest, most beautiful life without asking for permission or offering explanation.”― Glennon Doyle

Being completely integral with ourselves is such a great challenge in our dysfunctional and broken culture. It takes great skill and dedication to be perfectly in alignment with our own soul. I love this quote!

It reminds me that there is a culture of horrible dysfunction where I have learned to be a people pleaser, less than honest with my intentions, desires and what I know to be right for me. I have sold myself so cheaply in the past, believing I would be hated and shunned if I were to be integral with myself. I am no longer willing to do this.

I have walked away from high-paying jobs because I was required to do far less than what I knew was right. I have walked away from many, many relationships with people with whom I could not feel honor because they walked a road I did not choose to walk. I may care for them but do not include them in my life in an intimate (close) fashion because they are not my tribe. They have shown me who they are, and I have learned to listen.

These things are NOT applauded in our culture. We are taught to “fit in” and “get along”, no matter the psychic cost to our sense of what is right for us. I may overstep that line in protecting myself, but I sure have learned the hard way that if I don’t I cannot stand to live with myself. And NO ONE is going to look out for my soul but me.

There is a particular badge of (dubious) honor we give the wealthy, deeming them successful, even though they may have employed shortcuts and dishonest methods to appear successful. We applaud those with fame, never looking further than how they appear; and certainly never moving back the curtain that conceals their cheating and lying. We revere those with the earmarks of these attributes, not caring if they are honorable people or true monsters. They seemingly “win” at this game of life, and we have become immune to holding others accountable for dishonorable behaviors.

I don’t need to hold others accountable. I just need to honor myself. And distance myself from those who are using others to feel less afraid, who are cheating and lying because they do not believe that being honest will work as well, and those who are just of questionable practices. I know who they are. I can see them really quickly. I just did not want to be the one who was not “socially accepted” because I dared to be different and walk with my self in integrity. Today I can and do. That is a wonderful shift for me.

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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