Honesty

I Can Do Hard Things, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

I Can Do Hard Things, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

“Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly,
Or do I choose to live and die in fear?”
                                                         Pema Chodron

I can do hard things.
 
I didn’t know that when I was younger. I thought it was all about being talented, special, and somehow gifted. I knew I was not those things. So, I believed I could not do hard and difficult things.

Thanksgiving, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Thanksgiving, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

I watched my husband play the Incredible Hulk in a psycho-drama workshop we did together many years ago.  He startled me with his “acting” talent and ability, transforming from the kindhearted, tender man I knew him to be, when he appeared on set painted green and angry.  Freedom and power exuded from every cell of his being.  I felt joyful. 

I wanted to feel THAT! 

Put Your Shoes Up, Please..., by guest blogger Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe

My husband is sitting at the table with a very serious look on his face. I ask him if all is okay. He looks at me and says “I’m just wondering what it is like to be you.”

Following Through with Amends, by guest blogger, David Saffold

The following is my ninth entry in a series about the 12-step spiritual program of recovery.

Step 9:  “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”
 
Step 8 and 9 are combined in the literature and are found in Chapter 6 (Into Action), page 76, third paragraph through page 84, second paragraph of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  This time we will focus on Step 9 which is the step where we actually clean up our past so we can go forward into freedom.

Admitting Our Wrongs, by guest blogger David Saffold

The following is my fifth entry in a series about the 12-step spiritual program of recovery.

Step 5:  “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

Step 5 is found in Chapter 6 (Into Action) page 72 through page 75 of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  In step 4 we discovered the deeper causes in our nature that were creating our problems.  Now we need to start the process of healing by telling them to another person.  We have to stop hiding from life and others, we have to finally find the courage to remove our mask and be entirely honest with another person.  The book gives the reason why this is so important on page 73; “More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life.  They are very much the actor.  To the outer world they present a stage character.  This is the one they want others to see.”  This mask or “stage character” is the lie that is presented to the world and the alcoholic is terrified that the lie will be discovered.  This makes for a life of constant fear and tension which empowers the addictive behavior.

Fully Facing Ourselves, by guest blogger, David Saffold

The following is my fourth entry in a series about the 12-step spiritual program of recovery.

Step 4:  “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”
 
Step 4 is found in Chapter 5 (How It Works) page 63, last paragraph, through page 71 of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  We are to take a personal inventory in order to “face, and be rid of, the things in ourselves which have been blocking us.  Our addiction is but a symptom.  We had to get down to causes and conditions”.  Searching and fearless means thorough and honest.  We cover our entire life, past and present, leaving nothing out, exhausting everything we can bring to consciousness.  Having set a firm foundation in Step 3, we now have the courage and strength to look within and shine light on the true causes of our problems.  What we discover we write down.  We search through every emotional aspect of our lives, resentments (anger), shame/guilt (I am a bad person/what I did was bad), fear (stress, tension, anxiety, terror) and all of our life situations: relationships (sex/people/institutions), work/career (people and institutions), finances (beliefs and fear around money), spiritual (God/religion), health (physical/mental health problems).  We look at our life events, real and imagined, how and why we were threatened by what we believed was happening, and how our actions and reactions created or contributed to the destructive outcome for ourselves and others.
 

That First Big Step, by guest blogger David Saffold

The following is my first entry in a series about the 12-step spiritual program of recovery.

In my opinion, alcohol is a drug.  Just as cocaine, heroin, or crystal meth is a drug.  The 12 step program will work for any drug of addiction.  However, since I am referring to the 12 step program defined in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, I keep the wording of each step found therein.  Please, feel free to replace the word "alcohol" in this issue with whatever suits your situation.