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.

I’m in trouble!

I have mentioned before, how important it is for me to read other’s blogs. In fact, I noticed how few views I get when I happen to be too busy to do my reading. As soon as I was able to get back to reading my followings and liking their posts, viewership increased dramatically.

Here’s my problem. I do read and enjoy those I follow. I was at this particular time, fresh off of a session of reading and had ventured into the promotions tab of my email. There I found an add that I rather liked. I scrolled down to the bottom of the page looking for the “Like” button. Doh! Can anybody relate?

It’s Payday!

This piece is a brief description of “what it was like” in the fairly early stage of my addiction to alcohol and other stuff.

The year 1978. I am a utility assembly finisher by trade at Smith Tool Company. One of two, in that era, largest manufacturers of rock bits, used for drilling for oil and in other types of mining. I operate several machines in the performance of my job including, grinders drill presses lathes etc. Safety first right?

I am 18 years old and I have been smoking weed and drinking with increasing frequency. I worked first shift 6:30 AM-2:30 PM I arrive at work having smoked a joint or several bong hits of Columbia gold cannabis sativa. At that time the indica green bud had not yet become preferred. It was some good shit, trust me.

Today was Thursday, which was payday. We would get our checks sometime between morning break and lunch. This occasion, a sort of routine was developed over time with my buddy Dennis. Upon release for lunch, for which we have half an hour to complete, no time is wasted. Out to the parking lot into Dennis’s van, a couple joints rolled quickly. One fired up and we’re  off to the bar that will cash our checks. 15 minutes in and out and off to Dell Taco which was one of the first to serve a 32 oz drink with a meal. Stop at the liquor store to grab a half-pint of Wild Turkey 101 proof Kentucky Bourbon. I love that stuff and it provided a nice compliment to the weed buzz. If one drinks the beverage to the top of the sun on the logo printed on the cup a half-pint fits quite nicely into the beverage. The second joint smoked on the way back to the factory, walk back into work booze in tow and security is none the wiser.

wild_turkey_logoImage source- whiskeyid.com/google

Looking back on this now I realize how hazardous it was for me to be operating large machines and grinding small parts by hand was but I was indestructible then.

That is just a taste of what it was like for me way, way early on in my using life.

Thanks for stopping by

some music from the era

 

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.

 

The Seeker

I’ve looked under chairs
I’ve looked under tables
I’ve tried to find the key
To fifty million fables

chorus:
They call me The Seeker
I’ve been searching low and high
I won’t get to get what I’m after
Till the day I die

I asked Bobby Dylan
I asked The Beatles
I asked Timmothy Leary
But he couldn’t help me either

chorus

People tend to hate me
‘Cause I never smile
As I ransack their homes
They want to shake my hand

Focusing on nowhere
Investigating miles
I’m a seeker
I’m a really desperate man

I won’t get to get what I’m after
Till the day I die

I learned how to raise my voice in anger
Yeah, but look at my face, ain’t this a smile?
I’m happy when life’s good
And when it’s bad I cry
I’ve got values but I don’t know how or why

I’m looking for me
You’re looking for you
We’re looking in at each other
And we don’t know what to do

Pete Townsend

The Who

I don’t have a clue.

I am fascinated with the authority with which many, write, advising the masses of how it is and how it should be. I have come to the conclusion that, in the words of Lao Tzu

“Those who know don’t talk. Those who talk don’t know. Close your mouth, block off your senses, blunt your sharpness, untie your knots, soften your glare, settle your dust. This is the primal identity. Be like the Tao. It can’t be approached or withdrawn from, benefited or harmed, honored or brought into disgrace. It gives itself up continually. That is why it endures.”

In my quest to find out about what is beneath the cacophony of seemingly endless wants of my physical person. It has become painfully clear that I really don’t know. From this point, I am in the best attitude to be receptive to novel ideas, novel, at least to me. I am able to listen carefully with interest. I stay inquisitive, the sense of adventure of the ordinary remains alive. I find things fresh and exciting, new discoveries are made and miracles noticed regularly. I am immensely more sensitive and am aware of my simplicity and how far I have come and where I am on this journey. At the beginning.

I love to hear about your, experience with the things you struggle with and are or have overcome. I respect and admire the courage summoned to share your true natures. If I pay attention and care I perceive the authenticity and connect on a psychic level. I then know I mean something and so do you.

So even though I write, I hope to project from the position of a novice, a student, a disciple of what God, the cosmos and all of, creation are so generously teaching.