Endigar 386 ~ Self-Honesty

From Today’s Daily Reflections;

The deception of others is nearly always rooted in the deception of ourselves. . . . When we are honest with another person, it confirms that we have been honest with ourselves and with God.  (As Bill Sees It, page 17)

When I was drinking, I deceived myself about reality, rewriting it to what I wanted it to be. Deceiving others is a character defect-even if it is just stretching the truth a bit or cleaning up my motives so others would think well of me. My Higher Power can remove this character defect, but first I have to help myself become willing to receive that help by not practicing deception. I need to remember each day that deceiving myself about myself is setting myself up for failure or disappointment in life and in Alcoholics Anonymous. A close, honest relationship with a Higher Power is the only solid foundation I’ve found for honesty with self and with others.

END OF QUOTE

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“Good judgement will suggest that we ought to take our time.  While we may be quite willing to reveal the very worst, we must be sure to remember that we cannot buy our own peace of mind at the expense of others.” (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 84)

The kind of honesty that Bill W. is referring to is the honesty within the confines of the program.  The people we share our defects with are those who have not been directly hurt by us, and who are committed to our recovery and the manifestation of our highest selves.  There are some people who would use our openness to manipulate us or store ammunition for a future assault.  There are times when tact, taste, and discretion tell us to keep our mouths shut or modify our conversation to prevent the unnecessary harming of our fellows.  If someone asked me what has made me so happy today, and the honest answer was that I had some really naughty sex and discovered some new positions to achieve the greatest orgasm, then it is not just protecting my image that is of concern, but the protection of whoever participated last night and the people who are listening at that moment.  Even though I might answer that I had a really good time last night, or some other generic evasion, most of my peers would appreciate the lack of self-revelation.  In daily conversation, most interactions are seeking functional connections and not intimate details.  Revealing the truth of who we are to our God, to others, and to ourselves, should be the product of intelligent meditation and not knee-jerk reactions.  For me, learning to master self-honesty begins with the ability to take my time in converting my thoughts to words.

“Our first objective will be the development of self-restraint. This carries a top priority rating. When we speak or act hastily or rashly, the ability to be fair-minded and tolerant evaporates on the spot. One unkind tirade or one willful snap judgment can ruin our relation with another person for a whole day, or maybe a whole year. Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen…For we can neither think nor act to good purpose until the habit of self-restraint has become automatic.” (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 91)

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