What is integrity and what does it have to do with recovery?

  • Definitions
    • the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness
    • the state of being whole and undivided
  • “the root of integrity is about doing the right thing even when it’s not acknowledged by others, or convenient for you.” (Psychology Today article)
  • “In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one's actions.” (Wikipedia)
  • In episode 101, I said that for me, having integrity means that “I act in all things according to my true self. I state my beliefs honestly and openly.”

Recently, I was thinking about this topic, and also about how I have not lived with integrity. And then, I thought about how practicing the 12 steps has brought me closer to living with integrity in all my affairs. What are some of the ways in which I did not practice integrity?

  • Denial vs acceptance. When I deny the truth of reality, I am not being honest with myself, no matter how much more comfortable that denial might make me.
  • Pretending to be someone I am not, to believe something I don’t, to not have an opinion that I have. Typically I would do this because I thought if I was honest about my thoughts and beliefs, you wouldn’t like me or I would offend you.
  • Volunteering to do something that I didn’t want to do. And then doing a bad job at it.

How did recovery help me live with more integrity?

  • Breaking denial, especially about the alcoholism in my family.
  • Teaching me how to accept with grace, and that acceptance does not mean condoning.
  • That “searching and fearless moral inventory” brought me greater clarity about who I am, how I act, and what I believe.
  • I can ask a power greater than myself for help in changing!
  • Teaching me to set boundaries, so I only “sign up” for the things I can actually accomplish.

Readings and Links

We read from

Courage to Change, December 10

How Al-Anon Works, Chapter 16 Twelve Traditions, Tradition 12

Upcoming topics

We are interested in your sharing on two topics

  • Being a man in Al-Anon.
  • Being a dual member (also known as “double winner.”)

Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecovery.show with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.

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