Whenever I hear those words, I immediately wonder, “was everything up until now a lie?” I mean, if you have to clarify that AT THIS TIME you’re telling the truth…you could be an alcoholic/addict.
I don’t lie anymore
I’ll never forget the time I heard a guy with 30 days or so -again- say in a meeting that since he stopped drinking, he didn’t lie anymore. I’m not sure if it was part of a ploy to hook up with a new(er)comer, but he sounded sincere when he said it.
I was surprised to hear that, to say the least. Especially from this person. But, you know, that’s his stuff. (I did choke a little on my coffee, though, as I was trying not to laugh.)
What does honesty even look like?
According to the Bigger Big Book, we don’t really know the full story of what goes on in our own heart & mind. “Cash-register honesty”, now that’s easy enough to identify, but what about…the rest of our lives?
When I was going to meetings with Dad, where they were mostly Crusty Oldtimers (The Winner’s Circle in Lakeland, in case you’re curious), they taught me a more comprehensive way to find out what MY truth was, at any given moment.
Checkity check yoself before you wreck yoself
They taught me to check my motives. Sounds easy enough, right?
Here’s an example:
I want to give Joe Blow a ride to a meeting (even though my Sponsor warned me about fraternizing with the opposite sex).
What’s my motive? Obviously, I want to be a friend, and help him out. Sounds good, doesn’t it? And that may well be PART of the truth.
Check it again
They told me to check my motives again.
What’s my real motive? Well, it’s a nice thing to do, and I’m trying to think of others first. That sounds legit. It’s most likely a part of my reason for giving him a lift.
One more time
Yep, they told me to check my motives 3 times!
What’s my REAL, bottom line, honest to God motive? Siiigh. I don’t want to do this.
I want to do a favor for someone, so I’ll have leverage on them whenever I need a favor.
I want others to see me doing “Service Work”.
I’m so lonely, I just want someone to talk to. Besides, I have trust issues with women. I’ve always gotten along better with men.
And finally, the TRUTH:
I don’t know how to act without a man in my life, and he looks at me like he’s interested, and my self-esteem needs some help (which he appears willing to *ahem* stroke)!
Hm. That’s a lot of work!
One thing about being a World-Class Liar for so long, is that you can’t tell when you’re lying. (We’ll talk about denial in a future post.)
So, in summary, I need to check my motives 3 times (sometimes more) whenever I think something. Because I am selfish and self-centered to the core. I even do nice things for others (altruism isn’t unheard of, even among people like us) because I GET SOMETHING OUT OF IT.
So it’s bad for me to do good?
I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to do for others! It’s good to be helpful. Kinda like the idea of doing a good deed and not telling anyone.
If you were to take a younger person under your wing (say, niece or nephew) because they needed guidance that their parent couldn’t give them, that’s a good thing, and more likely to have a positive motive.
On the other hand, if the only younger folks you’re willing to spend time helping are, for example, the kids in your church’s Youth Group – where you’re sure to get more than a few pats on the back – instead of the one that you KNOW is in a bad place, that very few people would know about, and that you could definitely help…well, you tell me what the motives there, are.
I’m never gonna get that.
Honesty is one of the strange new concepts that sobriety/clean time requires that we learn. One day at a time. Sometimes slowly…