May 26

INTEGRITY MONTH: DAY 26: “Live in alignment with your value, not your vanity.”― David Finkel

Value is not what I may be worth in this quote, but what my value(s) are. If I say I value integrity, it is worth something to me, and that is worth more than looking good.

I also have a really good fit for this as it applies to Step 5. When we are working to look good to the world around us, we will settle for less than what we believe is true and right. That is how we got so resentful and angry in the first place. We believed that the world around us had “done us wrong” and acted in retaliatory fashion; trying to get even with others and creating drama that wasn’t true to our values or who we are here to be.

Being re-aligned in these steps is the point. Being brought back to spirit, heart and soul is the other. If we are spiritually unfit and very ill it is due to erroneous beliefs we held and followed and lived by. As addiction escalates, we become focused on only that…feeding addiction. Ego becomes the controlling factor and we get more and more self-focused and self-centered. Believing these things and living like this is the causal factor in the bottom that brings  us into contact with recovery. Until Ego is completely smashed, we are doomed to live in various forms of addiction. Whether or not we return to active drug and alcohol use is not the point. Addiction is…Ego is…living with the driving forces of these two IS the only point of recovery or the lack thereof.

So, re-alignment to a set of spiritual principles becomes the goal. The steps are the tools to achieve that goal. Step 5 is where we really need to practice this principle of Integrity. Why here? Because Step 4 has given us the first REAL glimpse of what motivates us and drives addiction. And we will be required to return to it again and again as we progress into deeper and deeper recovery. If I cannot become honest and integral about how far off-base my motivation and thinking has become and REALLY integrate that into my daily life, I am doomed to live in delusional thinking and keep telling myself the same BS stories of victimhood and remain angry at the world at large.

It took me about 10 years into this thing to truly integrate (See how that fits?!) these concepts into my life. The biggest reason was that I had tremendous rage against God. Now, that is going to wreak havoc with my spiritual progress, don’t you think? It did. And I had to work through that. It took 10 years…I did not know it wasn’t people I had resentment with…okay! Today I see the turning point for me in that time. It takes ongoing, consistent, and persistent working of these things to get where we want to go. It does not happen the first time or the 500th time. It happens when it happens. There is no goal here, except to progressively get better. If my illness, as the BB states, is progressive, then it is still growing…not my drinking…MY ILLNESS. Oh! I love this stuff…I love recovery…deep and wonderful and life gets so damned GOOD!

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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