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Facing Our Own Dishonesty

 

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”  — Prov. 25:11

Facing our own dishonesty can be daunting, but maintaining absolute honesty is a basic premise of our recovery program.  12 Step programs of recovery describe it as “rigorous” honesty.  Belief that we can be honest without a solid commitment simply won’t work.

The more we grow, the more we develop our ability to make one choice at a time, to experience one feeling at a time, to tell the truth one situation at a time.  We admit to ourselves when we feel guilty, angry, fearful, and resentful – the negative feelings that are difficult to face.  Being honest is how we finally come to know what used to baffle us about our addiction.  When we create a unity between honest feeling, honest thinking, and honest action, we find that we have become honest people.  Personal honesty is a gift for which I thank the Universe every day.


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“For every person in your past with whom you feel unhealed but unable to go back and resolve, there is someone standing before you offering you the opportunity to practice the healing you believe you missed.” — Alan Cohen


See That Storm Just Ahead? Confronting Issues

 

“Maybe you can’t see the storm that lies just ahead. But I can. Believe me, it’s there.”

Confronting issues openly and honestly can be difficult. Many, like me are afraid of the reaction they’ll get from the person they are confronting. With that fear firmly embedded in one’s psyche, looking the other way and acting like the problem isn’t there becomes the easy way out. Or so it seems. Looking the other way really doesn’t make matters easier at all. In fact, it makes them worse. Problems often just don’t go away without some action.

I haven’t faced some very big issues and challenges that have been in my life for too long now. But I see clearly that I can’t let these problems linger. In my situation the problems have grown and the result is more and more hurt to me. I feel fear of the reaction I expect to receive. My fears I know after giving it long thought are grounded in reality and not based on my imagination. To get myself beyond this fear, I will have to have the necessary support around me to protect me. With my support in place I will face my problems. I must remember that storms don’t last forever. Eventually the sun does shine again, and life was nourished by the rains. I will come out of this a better person.

 

The Heavy Burden of a Life Full of Lies

One deceit needs many others, and so the whole house is built in the air and must soon come crashing down.  – Baltasar Graclan

I have recently made a new acquaintance and as I’ve begun what should be an enjoyable process of getting to know one another, I have discovered this person lies – a lot.  It’s like the entire fabric of his personality is woven with lies; lies about simple things that don’t even matter; lies that I can see could get an innocent believer into a tremendous amount of trouble if believed and acted on.  Experiencing this kind of dishonesty in my life now has caused me to reflect on my history with dishonest behavior and what the plan I have to keep myself in check each and every day.

Through my long history of lying, I know firsthand of the way lying drives us into secrecy. At first, came the “little lies” – to my partner at the time, about missing an appointment or coming home late; my time away difficult to cover up or explain.  Then came more lies to cover the lie, and then the lies to try to escape from the ugly web of lies that entangled me within my deceit. Soon, I couldn’t even look my loved one in the eye, I couldn’t risk the truth – that I had been out fucking around on him, and so I lied again and again. Sadly, the pathetic day came when I grew comfortable in my sick, isolated world of fantasy and deception. All along, those I was bullshitting knew I was lying.

My life became a house of cards; a pack of lies.  I couldn’t make an honest, open move for fear of bringing the shambles tumbling down around my ears.  Most often, I wasn’t the only one getting hurt by my behavior; my partners, family, friends and even business colleagues suffered horribly too.

I am well into my process of changing all that, but it takes time. Each and every day I need to take inventory and be fearless and honest with myself.  I have learned that each time I am honest, the lies lose their power, and finally the truth comes through. My life actually feels so much less heavy; I grew so tired of the lies I had spun around everyone in my life.  What I have gained through my openness is breakthrough into honesty and truth.


Who is it? Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde?

 

“No legacy is so rich as honesty.” — Shakespeare

Only recently, have I begun the long, slow process of reconnecting with family and friends whom I abandoned when I chose a life of addiction and lies.  Are they running toward me with outstretched arms, embracing this new and improved me?  No.  I didn’t expect them to either.

You see, I spent much of my life living a lie.  I was split into two people, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and one of the two could never speak out, tell the truth or own up. Mr. Hyde gradually took over until everything was fraud, deception and betrayal.  And finally, I came to see my life in ruins.

So began my path toward sobriety, clean living and personal growth.  This meant Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – the two sides of me, had to find a way to work together.  I knew I had to win the trust and confidence of both fellows before one tore the other to pieces.

There is one way in: honesty.  I came to know that Mr. Hyde works in the darkness of deceit and opens up to the light that steams in when I speak openly and honestly.  And this light endures: honesty doesn’t only give momentary insight; it leaves a legacy that lasts a lifetime.

Honesty

 be-honest

Honesty: The open quality of truthfulness, straightforward sincerity.

An honest person can be trusted to be straightforward and sincere.  Telling the truth and being sincere help to develop honesty.

I received this “Honesty” figurine from a very special person, at a time when I was facing a decimated life, a result of my seemingly endless, perhaps even sociopathic ease with being a dishonest person.  Through these lessons, I have become the man of integrity I am today.  I am an honest person.  It has been said that those that chose to remove me from their life due to my dishonesty in the past, now wish I could have been as honest then, as I am now.  There is a feeling of disappointment and loss.  Life would be so different today, had I chosen a path of honesty.

I can’t imagine how I could have done it before; being so incredibly dishonest in so many areas of my life.  It all seems so heavy to think back upon that time in my life.  My mother always said that I was a very bad liar.  She proved right on that point.  It was my inability to maintain and organize my lies; what I told to which person, and so on.  I made many mistakes, and my “cover” was blown.

This process of becoming an honest person in my journey of personal growth has been one that I shall always look upon with much joy.  It hasn’t been easy, but the life I have as a result, is easier.  I am not perfect.  I am an imperfect human trying to learn my way through this existence and lifetime.  I make mistakes; lie about something here or there, as anyone does.  In my awareness, I make every attempt to correct any misinformation and soon after spend time taking a look at the reason behind the lie.  Often, the lie comes from my fear of a certain reaction.  Or, the lie may stem from my own feelings of inadequacy.

– Be honest.  Admit mistakes.  Avoid cheating others –

Honesty is a Vital Step

Along the Path

 Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom.  – Thomas Jefferson

 

We have to find our own way to wisdom, and the road may sometimes be long and hard.  How do we start?  How far do we have to go?  How do we know when we are there? 

     I found it helpful to travel the road with others.  Some of the time was in group therapy; other time was spent in various 12 Step groups.  There, we all were given the opportunity to be honest with ourselves and to trust our inner voice.  After a time, we were able to separate fact from fantasy and come to a mature perspective on our own conduct.

 We need courage to be rigorously honest.  It is so easy to gloss over yesterday’s slip or forget that our behavior has hurt a loved one.  We may wish to begin by listing our good qualities and our bad qualities.  This helps us get a sense of proportion and provides the basis for an assessment of those actions that have harmed others and ourselves.  Then we can decide about making amends to the people we have hurt.  We must realize that some of the hurts we have caused are too deep, preventing some loved ones from ever believing us again.  Going one small baby step at a time takes away our fear that we can never do it, never get there.  Honesty, like anything else, can be learned, with patience and love.  I want to continue to learn honesty and consider it to be a vital step along the path toward wisdom and serenity.