Posts tagged Rigorous Honesty

Rigorous Honesty

The past few days the internet connection was down again.  But, it’s back up so here’s the latest installment.  There was a bit of bad news on two different fronts today.  A friend of mine in Alanon had a shocking turn of events in her life and spent some time reaching out for support.  She did a great job of self-care during a tough time.

And someone close to me let me know that they are in trouble today.  They didn’t realize what they were indicating because they are living a life with untreated self will run riot.  It was something they said that filled me in on their current state of mind.  They are dry when it comes to alcohol, but they’re acting like they did when they drank.  “Dry Drunk” it’s often called.  They are white knuckling it again, even worse than before and they are so into blaming others for their situation.  Secrecy is very big for them.  The first time hearing the slogan, ” We’re only as sick as our secrets.” really made me think.  Most of my secrets were about looking good to others.  In the case of the person above, they keep secrets to control, manipulate and rob others of their peace of mind.  Insanity.  Ugh!

Fortunately, we don’t have to go there.  We can all practice a lifestyle of rigorous honesty.  Sometimes it’s challenging, and it requires some discernment about how much to disclose, and to whom.  We needn’t spew to everyone.  My sponsor hears most everything that needs hearing.  As a whole, my practice of honesty is doing well.  Every once in a while, I could do a bit better…disclose a bit more fully.  I have to walk my talk to live in a place of integrity.  And that is what I practice, day by day.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am willing to be honest. ”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

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A friend of mine is in her girlfriend’s wedding.  This is the first wedding she’s been asked to participate in and she had no idea what type of cost would be involved in the role of bridesmaid.  She just moved out of her parents’ home.  She’s paying her way through school, supporting herself in her new apartment and working two jobs.

The dress is $200, the hemming is $60, the shoes are $80 and now the bachelorette party and the bruch the day after the wedding are part of what she’s expected to pay for as well.  With the shower gift, the wedding gift and the other extras not mentioned, she’s at over $500 in cost.   My friend doesn’t spend this kind of money on herself – and she doesn’t have this kind of money to spend on anything.  She wouldn’t be able to, or expected to pay this much to be in her own sister’s wedding.  The bride’s expectations appear to be out of control, and no one has said anything to her about it.  My friend and the other bridesmaids have now developed a resentment toward the bride about the exorbitant costs incurred and the hardships this is creating for them.

The 12 Step programs talk about self will run riot – this appears to be just such a case.  The 12 Step programs also talk about being rigorously honest.  No one has yet let the bride know the hardships they are facing with these costs.  So here’s a perfect opportunity for my friend to get honest, humble herself and address the facts of the situation.  She’s decided to ask the bride for help to pay for some of the costs of the wedding attire, and also let the maid of honor know that she can participate in the bachelorette party if it’s a pot luck to which she’ll be happy to bring a dish, but that she can’t afford to share in any further costs for these events.  She’s also letting the bride know that she won’t be able to afford the bridal brunch the day after (which the bride just announced would have to be paid for by the bridesmaids because her parent’s gave her a financial boundary).  I’ve offered moral support to her regarding being  honest  and requesting assistance.  Her requests are reasonable and appropriate.  We get to take care of our side of the street in life, make reasonable requests and put the results in God’s hands.  My friend has learned much from this situation.  She’ll surely politely decline any future requests to be in weddings, or give the prospective bride her budget limitations up front to avoid any misunderstandings, stress or potential resentments.  Setting helpful boundaries is a learning process and we have the support of our fellows when we face these new situations.  It’s part of becoming responsible and accountable.  We are in good company as we learn to set these  boundaries and it does become easier.  Progress, not perfection.

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The Purpose of Sponsorship

In a recent conversation with a gentleman who’s very active in program leadership locally, I was reminded that sponsors are not initially meant to be our “buddies.”  We usually become friends, however, the primary purpose of a sponsor is to guide and direct us through the 12 Steps and demonstrate how to practice these principles in all our affairs by sharing their experience, strength and hope. 

What that means for me is that in the sponsor-sponsee relationship I must be prepared to both hear the honest truth about me from my sponsor, and also share the truth with sponsees about themselves.   I want a sponsor who will be honest with me.  Otherwise, how can I grow?  Hopefully, the information can be delivered kindly.  The goal, would be to receive it kindly as well, even if we don’t like what we hear.  My own sponsor reminded me recently when I needed guidance with sponsees that this is a program of rigorous honesty.  That is our goal – to be honest.  As it says on page 58 of the Big Book, we do recover if we have the capacity to be honest.

Recovery happens as we become more honest in both Alanon and AA.  It’s a process.  We make progress every time we are willing to hear what our sponsors share with us even when we don’t like it.  We make progress every time we are willing to share about ourselves with our sponsor, even when we are afraid of being judged.  It can feel very uncomfortable to do both, however the rewards of “a new freedom and a new happiness” in the Promises are well worth the short-lived discomfort.  And it gets easier the more we do it – which is why we are told to keep coming back -it works.  It does.

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Affirmation for the Day – ” I am completely lovable.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

Affirmation for the Day – Truth will correct all errors in my mind.  To give and to receive are one in truth.

Practice – Truth will correct all errors in my mind. – on the hour.  To give and to receive are one in truth. – on the half hour.

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