Tuesday, March 25, 2014


"Honesty,  is such a lonely word......."

Honesty refers to a facet of moral character and connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as integritytruthfulness, and straightforwardness, including straightforwardness of conduct, along with the absence of lying, cheating, theft, etc. Furthermore, honesty means being trustworthy, loyalfair, and sincere.

UGHHH......you think you know what a word means and then you look it up.

What I am really saying is,  YES, I know what Honesty means and it still bugs me sometimes :)
Ok, all kidding aside.
I learned what honesty was at a very young age, but not really.
I was told to "tell the truth". "Don't lie". "Do not take things that don't belong to you."
But, I also learned at a very young age, the wonderful world of manipulation.
I learned that you don't have to tell all of the truth, you can keep some for yourself.
I learned how to rationalize and justify.  It's not stealing, if you don't get caught.
It's not a lie, if you believe it to be true.
If my intentions were good, it's not really lying.
Most of these attributes came from the neighborhood I lived in and the people around me.
All very loving, good people that cared about me deeply, but inevitably were not always the most
"honest" people in the world.  I am not just talking about my family, I am talking about the Catholic school
I was attending, the kids and their families I knew, the world I was born into and grew up in.
I grew up in south St. Louis, Mo. Smack dab in the city, in a lower-middle class neighborhood.
Everyone was trying to get ahead and get by at the same time.
You learn to take care of yourself as a young child. I learned to get what I wanted and to manipulate the situation when it wasn't going my way.
I won't go into the juicy details, (I'll save that for a glorifying, self-absorbed autobiography)
but I learned the art of deceit.
At the age of 33, I was low down and ready to try anything.....including honesty.
My first attempts at honesty were like that of a child.
I learned to be "Cash Register" honest.  I stopped stealing money or things that did not belong to me.
I was so proud of myself when I gave you back your exact change!
Baby steps......baby steps.
I learned to say the truth out loud, mostly for myself to hear.
I had been lying to myself for so long, I believed it all to be true.
Once I accepted this new truth about my life and who I was, I was able to start honestly taking
steps to change my life and change my thinking.
Honesty comes in phases in recovery, just as it does in life.
We are faced with situations (opportunities) in life where we get a chance to practice forms of honesty,
truthfulness, straightforwardness. I want to exaggerate this story to you, but it's simply not true.
Tell it like it is.  
If I am keeping in my feelings about you or a situation and telling you something different, that is dishonest.
This is not easy.  People pleasing is a form of dishonesty.
I will tell you what you want to hear, to manipulate the situation for whatever reason......usually selfish.
I also have learned that I don't need to tell you the truth to be hurtful.
I can simply not answer you or bow out.  Telling someone the "Truth" to let them have it, is not very spiritual at all.  True honesty requires consideration.  If the truth is going to hurt you and it is not life threatening, world shaking or really necessary, it could be best to not say anything at all, or just be nice.
BAD EXAMPLE:  "Does this dress make me look fat?"   
BAD ANSWER:  "No, your big fat ass makes you look fat."   
Could be the truth, but just seems mean and unnecessary.
GOOD EXAMPLE: "Does this dress make me look fat?"
GOOD EXAMPLE: "If you don't feel comfortable in that dress, maybe find something else to wear."
That's how you do it Al Anon!

As life continues in recovery, I am much more honest and truthful than I have ever been in my life.
I seek the truth in all that I do and accept nothing less.  (most of the time)
But my mind can still get the best of me, usually with intellectual dishonesty.
Again, manipulation.
I am not revealing all of the facts, I am keeping things to myself.
I know the truth, you do not know the truth. That is your problem. I will not tell you the truth,
because thats not my problem. I figured it out, you figure it out for yourself.
Plus, if I tell you, you won't believe me and it will cause me pain and suffering to argue with you,
so I'll just let you bobble around until maybe you figure it out for yourself, or you crash and burn.
Also, if I tell you the truth, now we both know and I am not in "Control" of this situation anymore....
If any of this makes sense, you are in big trouble.
Eventually though, the dishonesty wells up inside and when I am uncomfortable enough, I will tell the truth.
Usually this very intellectual, high brow form of dishonesty is a one on one, relationship type of dishonesty.
I might be honest with the entire world, except one person.
For some reason, I feel this person does not deserve the honesty. 
Resentment is the culprit here, and needs to be dealt with if I am to remain clean and sober.
Whatever the situation, honesty must prevail. It will allow me to breathe and soothe my worried mind.

I will never be 100% honest, all of the time. No one will.
Like all of the spiritual principles, I will continue to do my best and when I make mistakes, hopefully learn from them.  I will make mistakes. When I do finally take the step to be honest, no matter how painful it might be,
the relief behind the truth always outweighs the pain of being dishonest.

Honesty is spiritual. It is real. The truth is the truth, the only truth. Their is your story, my story and the REAL story.  I am trying to see the real story, at every step of the path.

"When I'm deep inside of me

Don't be too concerned
I won't ask for nothin' while I'm gone
But when I want sincerity
Tell me where else can I turn
Cause you're the one that I depend upon"
Billy Joel

Peace, Love Zito

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Everything is moving so fast......or so it seems.
Maybe I am just slowing down, taking my time.
I assume I am getting older, and with maturity comes pace.
I am surrounded by fast, ineffectual movements that seem so fleeting,
with little to no purpose but to get to the next......

That is a broad statement.
It seems to me that everything I do should count in someway.
Not with great expectations, but with purpose.
To truly be considerate and mindful, I should take steps in the right direction
no matter what I am doing or saying.....of course I fall very short.
Buddhism teaches me that I should not speak unless I have useful words to say,
but I constantly open my mouth and rabble on about nothing good.
Point taken.

Not everyone is on the same page.
This knowledge is still new to me. I am hopelessly hopeful, childlike in this way.
I still believe in my heart that we are all doing the right things for the right reasons.
We're in this together and we want to succeed in a way that is beyond our ego.
Shortly followed by a huge slap in the face......
Not everyone is on the same page.
I am trying to accept this for the truth.  Mostly because I allow people to let me down.
Again, not out of expectations, but out of this childish belief that "we're all in this together".
No, we are not all in this together. Maybe in the biggest picture idea we are all in this together,
but not on a very personal level. I get frustrated with life and those around me, wondering why
they just don't get it. Why are we doing the same things but for different reasons?
It seems to me that the purpose is the key to it all.
And it is.
But we all have such different ideas of purpose and belief.
Live and let live.
That being said, I don't stop searching for the truth or for like minded people.
In fact, I search harder. I use this acceptance as fuel to strengthen my belief.
I am in constant search for other human beings that are walking this very narrow
path that I am on. It is not a path to fame or fortune, nor a path of misguided, intellectual
spiritualism for elitists......it's just my very narrow path to the truth.
Of course I ask questions, I doubt, but I continue to walk.
I am uncertain and veer off at times, but never stray.
It gets more narrow the further I walk. I look for others and there are less and less.
From what I read, what I am told and what I have learned.......
in the end it's only me and my maker.
We walk this path together. This is the only way to relieve the pain of living.
True Awareness eliminates the suffering of life.

Most of this is music based for me.  Music is life and means everything to my soul.
Music done in haste or without consideration or real purpose does not transcend.
Every note should count. Every note should resonate and be whole. (pun intended)
Every note should resound with consideration and with masterfulness to any level.
Passion for ego's sake is mere bullshit. It is for children and childish.
Every note should contain love.
It should have that "I'm going for it and I am trying my best and I promise to try harder the next time"
feel. It should never be good enough.
I am not saying that music and life should not be fun.
Music and life should be complete enjoyment.
But when music is your job, your path, your passion.......
It should be PASSIONATE!
True passion. From the soul. Begging for forgiveness to a KING that this note is not worthy....
but I give you everything I've got in this one note.... and I will give you more.
Assertive, not aggressive.
Love is not aggressive.
Life is like music, music is like life.
Every breathe should count.

There are many on this path with me.  We know each other.
It is unspoken. We do not have to argue or discuss, it's understood.
We lift each other up.
You remind me to slow it down. Don't be in a hurry. Take your time.
I will remind myself that we are not all on the same page, and thats ok.
It is a very narrow path with no end in sight.....I am lucky to be alive to walk it.

Peace, Love Zito