Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
I don’t know if honesty is the best policy. I guess you would have to ask yourself am I being honest or brutally honest. Pleasing to please is not honest – that’s either manipulation or being controlled by fear.
This question comes to mind because I have spoken to someone close to me about certain chaos that is happening around me. I just wanted someone to know what was going on I guess – or maybe a reassurance that I was acting correctly by not getting involved but being supportive because I care for those mixed up in the mess. unfortunately my confidant got irritated and spoke harshly about those in the mess – my loved ones. I tried my best not to take it personally. I tried to reason why they would being saying such negative things! I started to get mad and we ended the conversation. I am glad to say we were on the phone so I didn’t have the chance to start nagging and saying a lot of negatives in return about their loved ones… it would have been true things, hurtful facts, it would have been said in all honesty because that is how I feel about them – sometimes.
But I instead sat and thought, and thought some more. I was then a big girl and text to my close friend that I wanted to apologize for being short and being offended by the true statements they made about the behavior of my loved ones. I explained that it hurt my feelings when he did that, that it felt like he was just being mean. He text me that he hates I get drawn in to the drama and he worries about me.
There we have it. Did you see it? His mean statements come from the anger and frustration at their choices and bad behavior and that I have been drawn into it. So I thankfully had a chance to explain that I don’t get drawn in anymore. I love them, but I am not responsible anymore. I can give advice if they ask for it, but in the form of sharing my own experience in similar situations. Then they must choose for themselves and accept the consequences. I have learned that all my love, concern, fretting, nagging has never saved them before so I can concentrate on other things and wait for the next dramatic phone call – still loving them all the time.
A few years ago this would have turned into a pie throwing contest – and icy silence for at least a week. Then followed by a good dose of “I am the victim – you were very mean to me and deserved being ignored etc.”. With a sigh of relief I can say that honesty was the best policy. Honesty that encourages me to look at myself, my feelings, my motives and actions. I can love myself only if I know who I am.
From Courage to Change I would like to leave you with this thought and a quote.
I have a right to want what I want and to feel the way I feel. I may not choose to act on those feelings or desires, but I won’t hide them from myself. They are part of me.
“This above all: to thine own self be true.”