How does that lead to Integrity?

Welcome, if you’ve not been following along on our trip, investigating the spiritual principles behind working the steps found in the 12 Steps, primarily from the book Alcoholics Anonymous

So here we are at Step 5 Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs. I am not going to talk here, about how it’s done, or why, or the ways to overcome the inevitable reluctance to performing this step. There is a plethora of writing on those subjects.

I want to relay my experience of how admitting the sheer wretchedness of myself leads to integrity.

Integrity- noun

1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished:

3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition.

 

When I first learned that integrity was the principle behind this, I automatically thought #1 here and was confused other than the idea of integrating my entire past, however repulsive, by honest admission.
I have found, though that this step is imperative to arriving at #2 being whole.
Throughout my life, I denied or fought my demons or impaired myself to escape it. In doing so I gave these secrets power, which in turn pushed me to even more erratic insanity. I have to be a member of the human race and society, however painful it is. By sharing my weaknesses and flaws with another, healing my battered character can begin.

Great, so Now What?

I am continuing my series on principles I aspire to integrate into to my being.

So here I am having been reduced to the point of Surrender. I have arrived at the crossroad and the resulting option is killing myself, being locked up or Honesty. Having decided I want to live a free life and am in a position to follow in the footsteps of many who have overcome and flourished in spite of having been down a similar path.

Where do I go from here? Well, those brave souls I have decided to follow instruct me that I have to find and use a Power greater than myself and believe in the possibility, that I can start doing things, living my life differently, and my ability to make better decisions will result. Many will recognize step 2 of the 12 steps here. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. I had to have Hope that I could be changed.

What is wrong with this picture?

What was I thinking? I’m talking about the blatant disregard for my own and others safety. In the description of what it was like, in my last post, It’s Payday!

Ah the mind of a budding addict. I was craving a feeling of connection. I had a vast hole, or it felt like one, in my being. Something was missing. I used substances to alter my brain and body in order to feel different. The trouble is that I was severely impaired. I could care less about myself or others, while at the same time being quite self-absorbed.

I’m better now thanks to the grace of God and the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous

I have posted this song before but it’s pertinent

Honesty

Continuing my endeavor into principles that I somehow failed to integrate as I grew up. If any have any questions about that, just start from my first post and that should explain a lot. My guess though is that most get it.
So I’ve subjected myself to enough emotional anguish and despair that I have become willing to surrender. At which point, in my opinion, freedom is then possible. The next stop on our journey is honesty.
hon·es·ty
ˈänəstē/
noun
 the quality of being honest.
  1. “they spoke with convincing honesty about their fears”
    synonyms: integrity, uprightness, honorableness, honor, morality, morals, ethics, principles, high principles, righteousness, right-mindedness; More

    2.
    a European plant with purple or white flowers and round, flat, translucent seedpods that are used for indoor flower arrangements.
    09fd691d-52fe-496c-a6a1-66918b05ab88
    Clearly, I’m not talking about the flower. Honesty for me is something I thought I had always been good at. I have a problem though about being honest with myself. More about that here. Honestly?
    The kind of freedom I am alluding to is phenomenally described here.
    I believe this whole-heartedly and have experienced that kind of freedom from my days aboard ship in the Navy, while restricted to the ship and involved some extra duty. Freedom is a state of mind. Honesty with oneself is imperative.
    We admitted we…
    I had to admit that my best thinking got me here and that I must be willing to do things differently. So now what?
    more on that later. So long for now

    St. Augustine

    Return to your heart, O you transgressors, and hold fast to him who made you. Stand with him and you shall stand fast. Rest in him and you shall be at rest. Where do you go along these rugged paths? Where are you going?…Why then will you wander farther and farther in these difficult and toilsome ways? There is no rest where you seek it. Seek what you seek, but remember that it is not where you seek it. You seek for a blessed life in the land of death. It is not there. For how can there be a blessed life where life itself is not?

Surrender

Hello, freaks! With my tongue planted firmly, where it belongs.

When I hold on, I’m left with nothing. If I let go everything is possible

On this glorious Palm Sunday morning, I am embarking on a trek through some principles I have embraced, due mostly, to the idea I was in control and knew exactly what had to happen, and how you were joining me whether you liked it or not.

Fortunately for me and everybody close to me, I didn’t die before I surrendered. I am finding as well, that I am in a continual state of surrender unless I am not, in which case I am in for some emotional pain.

According to Meriam Webster Surrender is defined thusly

Definition

1.  a: to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand surrendered the fort

b:  to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another

2.  a:  to give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner

b:  to give (oneself) over to something (as an influence)

For the purposes of this discussion, I like #2 as it relates to my surrender to a feeling of separateness and my behavior trying to feel connected through portraying myself, as something, I am not and engaging in activities aimed at establishing a connection with others doing the same thing. Use of imagination and experience can allude to a vast range of erroneous endeavors here.

As soon as I surrender to that idea, I am able to be liberated to embrace my already established connection to the whole and that I was never really never separate from it.

 

Gratitude

Gratitude

With me,
it happens in a split second
— and for no discernible reason.
Out of nowhere, I find myself overcome
with a wash of gratitude for everything,
everyone.

 

And each time I know that whatever
divine human potential generates
the sudden waterfall of thanks,
it certainly does not come from me —
the little I who trundles along keeping
a watchful eye out for sand traps
and bee stings.

Gratitude and Spiritual Growth

No, it comes from a place much deeper —
from my Higher Consciousness
— and accordingly, it seems
both odd and familiar at the same time.
Although I walk around as ordinary as ever,
this unseen Visitor rushes forward with quiet feet
and tumbles over everything I meet.

Spiritual Growth

As a result, I find myself
staring with gratitude at the chair,
the radio, at a cup of tea in my hand.
Feeling grateful for the sun, reaching inside
to paint itself across the living room floor.
And grateful for the windows that permit me
to watch elm leaves dancing in the sky.

Spiritual Gratitude

Grateful for an ant, alive and purposeful,
hurrying along a baseboard to complete its chores.
Grateful for the familiar face of a neighbor,
jogging casually along my street.
Grateful for an unexpected idea which burst
into my morning out of the blue.
Grateful for an old jacket, which has served me
kindly and gently for so many years.
Grateful for breath, grateful for flowers,
grateful for life.

Gratitude to God

But that isn’t all. I tell you this
unearthly gratitude is so expansive,
so oceanwide and unblinking,
that it even embraces things that would
normally be triggerpoints: like bills,
like burnt toast, like a sore back.

Giving Thanks

So that, for a while, all irritants
are bathed away in a wash of inordinate kindness.
Without these blocks, I am left
with the largest and simplest element of all:
true peace.

Spiritual Growth

And after some time it passes,
this immense blessing, as quietly as it comes.
For a while, I just sit there,
looking around the apartment with a sense
of emptiness, wanting it back again..
this formless, timeless, healing,
heart-filling taste of Divine Love.

Gratitude

And of course, It has never left.
It is I, with my subtle attachments
to this world, who keeps Love
at a distance.

Personal Growth

But here is my wish for all of us:
may the Sacred Visitor come to our door,
and find us ready.

by Elsa Joy Bailey

 

“I hope you’re done and not here just to take a break”.

Those were the words of Roger B. at The Retreat in Wayzata The Retreat

His words stuck home with me that day in November 1998. I was done and had finally reached the point where I was “willing to go to any lengths to get it” I had to want to be “done” in order for any of the suggestions proposed by 12 step programs to work in my life.

If I hang on the delusion that someday, I will be able to drink and maybe smoke a little weed and I will not at some point be “on the hunt” for a hit, I am a goner.

It is I am told the great obsession of every addict to be able to use or drink without consequences.

Those days are long past though and I have discovered, that it wasn’t the using that was the problem. I was the problem. I am super sensitive and have chasm within me that is insatiable and drug and alcohol were the only things that dulled that ache. I describe it here The Longing

As long as I think I can use something, somebody, some activity to quell that craving I am a slave in chains to it and will use any means to at least try to calm the desire to feel whole.

Peace be with you! ❤