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You Are In Integrity

“You are in integrity when the life you live is an authentic expression of who you are.” — Alan Cohen


Willingness is Like Faith


“The readiness is all.” – William Shakespeare

Willingness is like faith.  We know it’s real because we experience it, but we can’t define it.  Nonetheless, the sense of humility, surrender, and peace that accompany willingness are our indicators that it is real, indeed.

A recovering addict who recently finished treatment told this story: “I was walking downtown and I got at least three offers to buy drugs and have sex.  I said no.  My willingness at that moment was to say no.”

We move forward often without knowing where we’re going.  But in those rare, shining moments of willingness when we conform our will to the Universe’s, we see our direction clearly.  And we are transformed.

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.

An Addicts Perspective

I see every thing I paint in this world, but everybody does not see alike. To the eyes of a miser a guinea is more beautiful than the sun, and a bag worn with the use of money has more beautiful proportions than a vine filled with grapes. – William Blake

My enjoyment of the arrival of spingtime may for another person bring painful memories of a life somehow unfulfilled. One person’s winter wonderland may bring to my mind a vision of a stark and hopeless landscape. One person’s summer beach party may bring a battle for another to avoid looking at starkly clad bodies. My ripe and tranquil autumn may bring to another thoughts of imminent death.

Each season of the year brings its own challenges. Many of us who are addicts feel sad or alone during different times of the year. For the alcoholic fall and winter may bring the challenge of maintaining sobriety through the holidays as they see others merry celebrations. A sex addict may feel sad or alone during the spring and summer when all around them they see people in love (not them). As addicts we often may think other people are happier than us. We may feel inadequate. So we struggle yet again with the same old feelings or memories.

I try to remind myself that even though the past continues to resonate in my heart, the present holds something different and better. If the eyes are opened to the particular beauty of the season, the reward will be its splendor.