"Honesty, is such a lonely word......."
Honesty refers to a facet of moral character and connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, and straightforwardness, including straightforwardness of conduct, along with the absence of lying, cheating, theft, etc. Furthermore, honesty means being trustworthy, loyal, fair, 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.
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"
Peace, Love Zito