Integrity

Dictionary.com defines integrity as “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.”  

Way back in the ‘80’s during the real Miami Vice days, I knew a Dade County police officer whose beat was along the Miami River.  “Jorge” was offered $50,000 to take his lunch break at a particular time — one day, one time.  In those days, that was roughly equivalent to a year’s pay for a patrolman. Definitions are well and good, but when the bag man shows up with 50K and you have kids in school and a mortgage, it’s simpler than that: do I do the right thing,  despite the cost, or the wrong thing?

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A Little Exercise 

Personal responsibility is the foundation of the 12 Steps. In what way does each Step foster the development of our personal responsibility? 

(Feel free to list your ideas in the comments if you want to share them.)

Who Looks Outside Dreams

“Who looks outside dreams;
Who looks inside awakes.”
~ Carl Jung

blankmap-world-1ceSometimes Professor Jung sounds like a Buddhist teacher.  When the Buddha spoke of awakening or enlightenment, he meant the ability to see the world as it really is, uncolored by our opinions, fears, history, desires, and ambitions.  Jung’s statement is rather less detailed but no less true.

No one should be aware of and remain more aware of this than recovering addicts.  We are, by definition, people who looked — and may still tend to look — outside ourselves for the resolution of problems that have their roots inside.   Continue reading

A Long Thought for the Day

First of all, I’d like to apologize for the two-week hiatus from What…Me Sober?.  Moving from a big 2/2 apartment where you’ve lived for 25 years to a much smaller 1/1 is a complicated project, fraught with turmoil.  But that’s a story for another day, perhaps.

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The beauty and joy of life dwell within differences.
~ Answers in the Heart, April 1

Who wants to watch the same sunset every evening? Who wants to converse only with people who parrot our own thoughts and opinions?

Why do I imagine that I need opinions to begin with, or that they bear more validity than other people’s? Is it because I am afraid? Of what? Does being “wrong” threaten who I am?

And where did I get those opinions, anyway? Are they mine, or did I inherit them from others through lazy thinking — or due to rebellion?

What makes me so sure that I’m right?

Snake Oil and Easy Answers

Snake OilWe addicts are especially prone to magical thinking, particularly in early recovery.  We have spent years — most likely decades — looking for easy answers outside ourselves: a pill, a drink, a romance, a new toy, a new restaurant or dish, a new person to take care of.  We were drawn to anything that we thought might be a quick fix, anything that might cover up our feelings of low self-worth, fear of the world, lack of faith in the things we feel have failed us. When we are newly sober, with only our program to replace our mood-altering behavior, we are still prone to looking for the quick fix.

And why wouldn’t we be? Continue reading

Remembering Our Inner Child

We hear a lot of talk, both in and out of recovery circles, about “finding our inner child”, “nurturing our inner child”, comforting or parenting our inner child.  Many of us have forgotten who that child was, and that’s too bad for both the adult us and the child.

001d2smOne of my morning readings suggested keeping a photo of us as a child in our wallets, to remind us of who it was and who we were.  I don’t carry a regular wallet, just a Crabby Wallet®, so that’s not really an option for me.  However, I do have several photos of me as a small child.  Most of them echo the unhappy kid that I often was, but there is one that shows me as the happy child that I should have been all the time.

I think this one’s going to get scanned, printed, framed, and put in a prominent place in my workspace.  The happy child deserves to be remembered, as well as the less happy version.