184: Spiritual Principle – Integrity (Sort Of)

We are exploring the spiritual principle of integrity. What is integrity? We honestly spend most of the episode on this question. There are a lot of different ideas about integrity and what it is. We also seem to bring up the concept of integrity versus authenticity, and if they can co-exist. Frequently the conversation becomes whether integrity is a personal thing or whether society gets a say in what integrity is. Finally, we introduce the fundamental attribution error. Listen in to hear about integrity, and share your thoughts with us.

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recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss recovery topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or Fellowship the attitudes expressed are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature [Music]

welcome back it’s recovery sort of I am Jason a guy who used to think I had integrity and I’m Billy I’m a person in long-term recovery I’m Jenny I’m also a person in long-term recovery uh Billy maybe you knew this maybe you don’t it just popped into my head as we were doing the opening but as Integrity I’m imagining it has to be related to the word integral right like there’s got to be some correlation of those word stems that uh I don’t know that for sure but yes there has to be seems like it yeah but but integral in my mind the understanding of what integral means is really very different from Integrity like integral is like oh it’s a necessary piece whereas Integrity is like this thing we were we’re about to talk about if you could have it or not so it doesn’t seem so necessary yeah and I think Integrity again when I look up the definitions of these words I’m like oh it means that too like it has a couple different meanings and a couple different applications I mean when you’re building a structure you can talk about whether it has Integrity you know which is completely different from what we’re talking about today but you know that’s a use of Integrity that isn’t you know so these words tend to have a variety of meanings and I think sometimes picking out which ones are specific to recovery really helps I almost wonder if all of them are really specific to recovery like if they’re not encompassing different pieces because I feel like the last time we did a spiritual principle and my brain is terrible because I don’t remember what it was but I think that one also related to buildings

something yeah I don’t know that’s interesting but I I could see where Integrity as in the soundness of a building staying up is pretty integral to the building right that would make sense so um yeah I guess some of the definitions I came up with and I had the same struggle trying to find some kind of either Miriam Webster’s definition or some kind of sciency definition that means something um I found the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles comma moral uprightness I was like okay that’s kind of cool um another one was the state of being whole and undivided which I thought was fascinating and I liked it a lot from that angle when I was thinking about it um a third one firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values colon incorruptability yeah that and that so I found something very close to that as well and that was the one I thought fit most for Recovery you think yeah I mean at least for me that that seemed to be what my understanding of Integrity in my recovery you know means it was closest to that interesting because I think of the ones I’ve read so far definitely the first one the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles moral uprightness I feel like that’s the one I’ve always Associated closer to what we’re trying to do with Integrity more so than like this firm adherence to a code but that’s interesting I like the code definition

have integrity for your code which you think is like uh good and I know we could talk about your definition of good and bad well even though I don’t believe in good and bad they’re easy to use because we all know what we’re talking about yeah so it’s fine to use them well I mean and then someone can have integrity for evil too that’s so you could have like bad intentions and your you show Integrity for your evil intentions well even not in the good and bad sense I mean someone that’s let’s say a Christian who’s adhering to Christian values might have a different perspective than someone that’s like a Buddhist or a Jewish person in a certain situation and they’re gonna adhere to their if they have this religious Integrity they’re going to adhere to those principles a little more and it doesn’t necessarily make one right or wrong I think it’s more like a how you’re guiding the ship sort of thing I’m almost wondering if this is why I see Integrity a little bit different than you guys because I you know we talk okay so if you’ve never been to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting if you go to quite a few of them you might eventually hear someone say or you might read in the literature that uh we we tend to hold on to this like terminal uniqueness right and that’s definitely me I’m a guy who always feels like Oh I’m a little different than other people and so when I’ve looked at this Integrity thing I have never thought of it as like oh I need to follow somebody else’s code like or at least I didn’t want to think of it like that right as I want to be following my own I want to be honest and have strong moral principles whatever that vaguely means to myself um but that’s interesting that yeah so there there’s these different codes and integrity I can you be in can you have integrity for evil that was interesting Jenny I was trying to think through that so like in my mind even if you’re you know uh somebody out there committing crimes and doing terrible things or whatever the Integrity piece would be like oh well I live by the code where I don’t I don’t steal from any of my fellow you know villains or something like that maybe that’s your integrity but it always seems to have like a it’s like the evil person is carrying this one positive trait that they live by into their evilness I’ve never thought about it as Integrity for the evilness itself so that sounds like the honor among Thieves yeah yeah yeah that’s what I think of as Integrity but I think like this is going to go in a fantasy land but like like evildoers Integrity like you know like they are dedicated to [  ] [  ] up like they are like their code is chaos you know well or is someone who’s in a gang like do they have integrity if they adhere to their Gang Lifestyle of like oh if someone else comes into our neighborhood we kick the [  ] out of that person is that Integrity like do they have anything I kind of think so what you’re saying too right okay okay so all right so a couple more definitions I got um an unimpaired condition colon soundness which I thought was kind of interesting I think it talks more about the building structure like we were saying but it kind of reminded me we just did the sound healing episode and I was like huh unimpaired because we are fully sound fully vibrating right I was like huh okay it’s an interesting one and then uh one of the last ones I got was the quality or state of being complete or undivided completeness and I thought uh you know they got a couple of them talking about wholeness or completeness or undividedness that’s an interesting take on Integrity I don’t generally think of even though I like it now yeah I didn’t I was didn’t assimilate that to Integrity either right I guess what I was trying to think through when I read it I was like maybe there’s this piece of like Integrity is actually having all the parts of me acting as one you know what I mean almost like having that group conscience in a a group format where we all have the same feelings and belief or at least we’re all coming together in that conversation and coming to the same outcome I felt like maybe Integrity for us isn’t necessarily following some specific code but maybe it’s more all the pieces us of us are aligned in the direction we’re going and we’re not feeling that like well part of me thinks I’m supposed to do this but part of me also thinks I could hurt people if I do that and I should do it this way and you know what I mean that feels like non-integrity I guess yeah sure of ourselves or I don’t know yeah that’s tricky I mean I guess I’d say I just picked one and was like oh this is what integrity means to me out of these other ones don’t fit yeah so you’re it’s Integrity is like a certainty of mine I’m just going right back to the code thing like you know this is my code I’m certain this is the way we go in my decision before we even get into the the literature pieces of it because I did find some stuff in the literature I found some stuff in the science I’m sure you guys have brought what you found what is integrity for you or what has it been throughout your your either life or your recovery or like what’s the meaning you give it uh for me I mean I immediately think to one of those simple sort of recovery cliches is like mean what you say and say what you mean you know that when you say you’re going to do something you show up and you do it you know that it was basically that simple and that wasn’t a person that I was when I was using I was the person that would tell you whatever you wanted to hear oh you’re moving Saturday Jason you need a hand yeah I’ll be there when Saturday came I might be there I might not depends on what happened Saturday you know if something better came along I was going to do that other thing and I probably wouldn’t even call you and tell you I wasn’t coming I would just not show up and in living that way I didn’t realize that that contributed so much to my low self-esteem my low self-worth my low sense of you know value because my word didn’t mean [  ] it didn’t mean anything to me you know let alone people around me so you know that all contributes to that feeling of like I suck I might as well use yeah no I could definitely relate to a lot of that what about you Jenny did you hear much about integrity before so and this is interesting sorry I I know I’m holding up your answer here um

no I’m thinking like because you went into Alcoholics Anonymous first right so you have like maybe that more traditional 12-step exposure where you’re probably going to hear the word integrity you know quite a few times but then I feel like you have this unique lens because you you moved over to the recovery Dharma program and I don’t know that Buddhism talks about integrity a ton and you can inform us now now shut up um so yeah it’s funny I don’t I don’t know that I hear the word integrity and Buddhist lit but but it’s it’s underlying you know um well let me go back to AA so yeah when I started at AAA I think the what grabbed me at first was the how honest open willing and because honest honesty was new to me and what a relief it was when I started being honest um because you know actually I grew up like I grew up in a dysfunctional household where like they’ll say like honesty’s a priority but nobody did it so I was like super confused about what honesty was honesty is a priority Jenny but don’t tell your father we did this yeah yeah exactly yeah pretty much yeah and then um but and then the other principles like open-mindedness and willingness and just you know not blindly trusting but like you know using your head like okay I can see that that’s working for them and I don’t see any pitfalls all right I’m gonna I’m willing to try that you know like not following blindly but just you know doing what we’re showing to you yeah so um how that changed when I went to Buddhism

um I’m thinking about the Eightfold Path and that like you know it lays out hmm I’m kind of stuck on this one it’s okay yeah I actually think you’re gonna end up stuck on it because whatever reason why we’ll come back around to that later no worries I was curious though you know what I I think what what drew me to Buddhism though was uh the the questioning you know like that wasn’t always welcome in a a you know like questioning the system whereas Buddhas was like yeah heck yeah we like questions question everything right and so it felt more comfortable and um I still like principles and values I was in the 12 steps I just like AAS I mean Buddhist approach to like if you don’t like that let’s question it let’s explore it whereas AAA would kind of like shut that down like nope just do what I say um so all right how about you Jason how about me so uh okay um kind of along the lines of what Billy talks about like I I do believe in in all those things he said uh I think they were happening in my life very similarly right I couldn’t be the person I really wanted to be in my life while I was getting high at that point right I was I would make the promises and and when I made them I wanted that right oh yeah next Monday I definitely want to get clean and get a job and get my [  ] together and show you guys how you could be proud of me right and it just I wasn’t capable of living it which felt like ass every time um and then you know you get in recovery you start to learn some stuff I think throughout my recovery journey I have felt I am a man of integrity I’m like look I show up when I say I will I do the things I say I do I say I’m about what I say I’m about when I live um but I will say that more recently I have kind of and especially doing the research for this episode I’m looking at it like I don’t think Integrity is is necessarily what I have now and I’m don’t know that it’s what I’m looking to get either I think there’s a different concept that maybe doesn’t exist well with Integrity that I am going for and that’s where I hope we end up getting to talking about that at some point well one other interesting thing I thought about with integrity at least as a as a young person I was raised and went to Catholic school and I felt like when they talked about all these morals and values that we’re supposed to have that we were supposed to do all of them perfectly and because I couldn’t do them perfectly I didn’t feel like I had any integrity and I don’t know that Perfection is necessarily the measurement for integrity um I guess when you’re talking about that wholeness or soundness maybe it is but that’s why I don’t like that so much because I could never aspire to that you know and no one can obviously I mean even if I think I’m a person that has great integrity I’m still going to have times in my life where I go against my own moral and value code you know I’m going to make mistakes the difference was early on in my life I did it like over and over and over again and I wasn’t looking at the pattern behavior to try to do anything different it was like like you said I I wanted to be a person that you know helped people and was kind and was honest and I wanted to be all those things I just didn’t know how to follow through when I said I was going to do it yeah yeah I completely agree I just think I guess there’s this there’s this piece of we we put so much pressure on ourselves right like okay obviously looking back even from here my life was not a life of Integrity back then right but I think now we hold each other and ourselves more more so than anybody to such high standards I’ll be the guy who can be a man of integrity in my actions 19 out of 20 times but if I’m [  ] it up one out of 20 times I say oh I don’t have integrity and that’s just not true because we’re not perfect just like you’re talking about right and we’re we’re so hard on ourselves um what you’re describing is exactly why I don’t call myself a Buddhist even though people are like but you go to a Buddhist meeting every week it’s because I’m not doing it perfectly and so I won’t refer to myself as a Buddhist I’m just someone who studies Buddhism and practices Buddhist principles and and right back to that conversation with Denise last week right The Kindergartners how many of you kindergartners are singers dancers writers they all are right and then how many of you high schoolers are oh there’s one or two because we beat it out of them because if you don’t do it perfect in our world you can’t say you’re it and that’s just sad man yeah and and I think for me when I see that process I recovery really helped break that ideology for me that I had to be perfect in all these things or else I wasn’t those things so like and when I came to understand as we talked about with a lot of these spiritual principles like realistically most of them shouldn’t be practiced to like this a hundred percent all the time standard you know what I mean like that’s probably not what we want to do you know we want to be somewhere in the middle and you know not being perfect is okay I mean in the 12-step process anyway we have specifically some some steps and some uh you know doing a daily inventory and things like that where we’re looking to see like hey where am I [ __ ] up and like when I did my 10th step you know I remember talking with my sponsor and them saying well you probably don’t have any days where you’re perfect like if you don’t have if you have a bunch of days where you’re like well I was just perfect today and I have nothing that I regret nothing that I did wrong and no mistakes that I made you probably don’t have an honest assessment of yourself you know right there’s gonna always be a case where I maybe said something a little harshly to somebody that I didn’t need to say or you know got Superman flicked off somebody driving down the road that did that really need to happen like you know that’s that process of recognizing that every single day I’m probably gonna fall a little bit short I mean now it’s way better when it’s less intentional right right but there’s still always going to be this room for improvement oh that reminds me of just my favorite line from from our literature which is we have a hard time seeing where we’ve been wrong because we usually intend to be right and it’s so hard to stop like you’re saying and be self-reflective throughout the whole day because you you gotta live right you gotta like go into autopilot sometimes and yeah yeah we’re making mistakes huh I was just sitting here uh looking we’re about to go into what our literature the Narcotics Anonymous literature says about integrity but I was like man one day I want a a database of like every 12 step or non-12-step support groups literature that I can just like conveniently search for the word what do these other programs have to say about it maybe they like good stuff but um so I I didn’t find much in our in our basic text in Narcotics Anonymous basic text I’m not saying our God damn it uh but it works how am I Integrity is the consistent application of spiritual principles no matter what the circumstances leaders who demonstrate the quality Inspire our trust we serve best when we display an honest respect for the trust placed in Us by others Fidelity and Devotion to that trust reflect the personal Integrity of our servants when we choose members to serve us we often look for integrity as a sign that they are trustworthy so I think the first thing that stands out to me before I even getting into like what any of this says is that the way this reads feels really creepy and weird to me I’m not gonna like just too many words about like leaders who demonstrate this quality Inspire our trust and I don’t know it just felt weird it felt like something you would read for people going to serve in Congress or something yes that definition I don’t know if anything it works out why so I guess the fellowship did but yeah yeah it’s from Narcotics Anonymous sorry yeah um so what about integrity is the consistent application of spiritual principles no matter what the circumstance so this is a little weird to me because this feels like what we were just saying consistent application to me in my mind again and this is probably where my human mind does it a little weird it says that’s got to be every time and I don’t think that’s what the word consistent means but that’s what I hear yeah it’s definitely right here it means maybe nine out of ten times right right regularly right right so that’s interesting why do I read that as all the time well because we’re absolutists I mean that’s one of the things as part of being like an obsessive compulsive personality you know is being what I Define as an addict like that’s me I want everything to be like black and white and super clear and there’s always a right and there’s always a wrong and it’s just not the way that the world works and like say as we talk about these principles we start to realize like yeah they’re not absolute things that you know there’s either this or that and you’re either one or the other like we’re all somewhere in the middle [Music]

thank you what do you think about the idea of no matter the circumstances because that part bothers me a little bit that sounds like no matter what I should be doing this thing like hey we’re gonna blow your head off if you stole this uh from the meat basket yes I stole from the meat and basket I practiced Integrity right like now I don’t have a head that seems pretty [ __ ] stupid to me um I know it’s an extreme I get it yeah I guess the point is like when it says no matter what this sounds like even when being a man of integrity or a woman of Integrity or whatever we want to call it when you practice Integrity it could harm you and that’s still so I I hear that a little differently and I’m going to use a different quote that’s not from recovery literature but I had it because I liked it a lot and I was gonna share it anyway so it’s actually from C.S Lewis and it says doing the right Integrity is doing the right thing all the time even when no one is looking especially when no one is looking that sounds more like me putting pressure on myself to be perfect again all the time but it’s that that idea that you know I shouldn’t just do the right thing because you know uh people are watching or you know it’s gonna gain me some notoriety or it’s gonna make people think better of me like the idea of Integrity is like these are my values I live by my values you know that’s what that’s what gives me self-worth and self-respect

say it again you feel pressure like everything makes me feel free apparently I like that I like that quote it’s like it’s simple and I you know like I think some of these definitions we’re reading are like you know like over complicating it but I love that simple definition it makes me think of like you know how we’re all the world’s moving to like self-checkout and how easy it is to steal stuff now I don’t like I choose not to it’s like even though no one’s looking like I’m not gonna throw the extra thing in my bag there you go you just did it for us you took us back to Integrity for evil because I could absolutely see in my belief with the way the world set up and how the unequal distribution of wealth I think it’s Integrity to [  ] steal as much as you can to even out the [  ] twisted world that should not be this way so that’s yeah that’s my morals and beliefs pure code like okay I mean and then and I’m not going into the store and stealing but I kind of champion people who do I’m like [  ] go for it but you’re not personally doing it no I’m a whole person okay how come because I don’t feel like dealing with the consequences of this stupid world yeah there’s basically consequences and risk so it’s your mood okay well it comes into these two places of Integrity I have integrity where I want to screw over the system because I believe it should be way more equal for everybody but there’s also the Integrity if I want to show up and be there for my family which I can’t do if I get locked up in Surf jail time right that one’s more important to me right now that’s more that’s the code is the dad code I got I got priorities that keep me from living out my Integrity dreams of robbing from all the stories yeah and in essence for for me I mean I think that’s sort of how Integrity works is I look at what my values are sort of place them in sort of an order of which ones are more important than other ones and you know like for example back to the moving thing like if I said hey Jason you know I’ll come help you move on Saturday and then my kid ends up in the hospital I don’t go well I told Jason I was going to help him move I gotta show up but I can call you and say hey my kid’s in the hospital or even if I don’t you know it’s like my kid’s in the hospital my Integrity is that you know my family comes first you know so there are different uh what our values are matters and how we practice our integrity well and it’s interesting for a situation like yesterday and this is more of a let me come to a minor situation instead of taking it to an extreme right um no heads are coming off in this scenario there was no mass shootings nothing uh so anyway we’re going down to this Festival uh yesterday and we you know my mom I was like hey you want to meet us there we’ll walk around we’ll look at stuff we’ll have a good time so we we did that right before we go she texts me in the morning and was like hey one of our family members wants to do this and meet here and do and I like I was like yeah that’s that’s just not going to work for my life right and and the integrity was for me I would already be spending enough time outside the house taking care of all the kids doing all this stuff I just wanted to go home afterwards that was important to me I could see a version of this where my mother feels like oh he he didn’t show up for me or didn’t you know what I mean like because she was making a request for me too and that’s where I feel like this is all it’s almost like we’re talking about a thing that can’t possibly be talked about because while we can all think we’re living in integrity and maybe our family my family members thought I was living in Integrity last night in my house maybe my mom didn’t maybe my other family member who wanted us to come down and meet up didn’t right and I just think from some lens we’re all going to be like oh yeah well Billy’s the Integrity guy because he showed up for his son in the hospital but Billy’s not the Integrity guy because 18 people were dependent on him that day and like there’s so many lenses I almost feel like we’re all going to end up especially going by a definition of all the time we’re all going to end up being judged or judging ourselves either way right but to me that gets back to the whole um recovery principle of it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks about me it matters about am I living and being the person that I want to be my ultimately my Integrity is to myself to me to be honestly who I am to be the best version of myself that I can be to live truest to my morals and values I mean who knows I have some values in an order now that three or four years from now I might say oh I got these a little bit flipped around I need to you know maybe [  ] who knows maybe work does need to come before family right you know whatever but can I interject real quick so that’s it’s when you know better you do better because it sounds like integrity was like you got to be consistent but then you learned you know like your your integrity changed because you grew and like well and and this is kind of what I think I might be trying to get at actually is sort of what you just said Billy is that Integrity feels like something we can hold others to um and I don’t like it from that aspect because we could just say authenticity instead of Integrity to be true to ourselves and that feels way less pressure to show up in a certain way I can show up however I am being authentic right and also it’s there’s no room for other people to judge that that’s awesome because when you brought up that you would steal groceries I was like yeah you should go ahead

because it’s not a good place for me but then when you were like I would do it I’m like cool but that’s where I’m wondering like authenticity doesn’t feel like we can put external judgments on people with it but it sounds like the same thing you were just saying you think Integrity to yourself is yeah and I’m trying to just think through that as far as what the I mean I guess authenticity could mean an adherence to a moral code but I guess what but it has room for flexibility for times when that moral code just isn’t what’s making sense for you maybe it just happens to be a day where your moral code says you know I always show up for my mom when she needs me but her car breaks down and you just work 22 hours or something and you’re exhausted and can’t maybe that’s your authentic moment but that’s not integrity or at least wouldn’t be judged as an Integrity by other people but there’s no room for judging authenticity you showed up how you were able to show up that day the best of your ability well part of that too is that you know what what am I looking at myself and doing honestly the best that I can or am I just making excuses to to not yeah because and that’s where it goes back to for me when I was using I was doing the best I can most of the time my intention was to show up when I said I was gonna show up and do things I said I was gonna do but it was inconvenient or something better came along so I just went and did that other thing without even a lot of thought as to the consequence of making that decision you know what I mean like I didn’t have any sort of moral guide posts or or uh you know moral markers to be like hey you should know you know he told Jason you were going to show up you could at least give him a phone call tell him you’re not or at least let him know something came up or or whatever instead of just not doing anything and then being like well [  ] it right right you remember that video I sent to I think I sent it to all of us a while back it was like 24 minutes long and explained dopamine levels and how people would stab people for cold water after walking through a desert if they were thirsty enough and all that I do kind of remember that yeah okay but same idea like when in my mind what you just described was on the day you made the promise you probably had a dopamine level of 60 or 65 or maybe you were already high and had a dopamine level of 110 who the [  ] knows and you felt good and you said yeah man from a place of feeling good I’d definitely show up and help you out I don’t mind and then the day came and your body said dude you have a dopamine level of 40 you’re not getting out of bed or you know you have a dopamine level of 40 and the only thing that’s going to heal you is going to do this thing over here it’ll take you up to 70 you’ll feel good enough to live going to do that thing you said you were going to do that’s going to take you down to 30 and you can’t afford that because people don’t get out of bed at 30. and so do you just did what you needed to do in the moment and it’s like I think that’s this thing of Integrity is we all want other people to show up and hold true to what they said A week ago even if it’s harming them now because it’s good for us no you better show up with Integrity Jenny you told me you’d bring that pie this week I don’t give a [ __ ] if it’s changed since then it’s not good for you anymore come to my campfire and bring your pie God damn it that’s what we need yeah I was gonna say Integrity I mean at least for me personally that’s not the case if someone said hey my mental health is I can’t do this all right whatever I mean because that’s just me well your integrity probably includes like having friends that are more understanding yeah and I guess

there’s always going to be times where what you said is going to happen that is true but at least in my using life that was like every [  ] day and I consistently but when do I sort of look honestly do an honest self-assessment and be like you’re not a person that shows up for people or you’re not a person that doesn’t steal like you know so stop quantifying yourself as that person because this is the person that you truly are and where I lacked integrity was in what I thought about myself or the person that I thought that I was and then who I actually was based on the actions and decisions that I demonstrated in my life because if you would ask me I’d have said oh yeah I show up for things I’m gonna do oh yeah I’m an honest person yeah but none of my behaviors were in alignment with that so I had no like personal Integrity as to living by you know the values and and codes that I thought were important that I also wanted to hold other people too because I wanted to hold everybody else to that same [  ] too and judge the [  ] out of them when they didn’t do it right and then couldn’t figure out the confusion in my own mind of why I felt like such a piece of [  ] and why I had no self-worth you know it’s like it’s like that Paradox of of like I say I believe these things are important I think they’re really important but but then I’m not living by those things and that keeps me stuck in this you know and and I think from my understanding of that right and I think it’s easier to do if we do like a a physical need because our society doesn’t like to you know acknowledge any other needs besides you know food and shelter and clothing apparently or something but say you you were in that situation you were born you grew up you you know believed you were a man of integrity and yet you have no job no food ever and you have to go around and steal food and stand on the corner and beg for money and this that and the other right these are things that aren’t going to necessarily fit into what you believe is integrity and yet you have to meet your survival needs first doesn’t matter if you have integrity when you don’t have [  ] food you got to get food first right and then once you can meet your survival needs and move up to the next level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and then talk about personal development and character then you have space for that because your survival needs are met and there’s safety there and it’s like okay well I don’t have to worry about food on a daily basis anymore so now I can move to bigger things like oh [  ] I’ve been stealing from these places that’s terrible maybe I should pay them back right but it’s the same thing with these emotional needs that we’re not acknowledging because we can’t measure them right it’s the same thing when you’re in that moment and you have so much pain inside that the only thing you can do is seek survival for the next by the next thing that makes it relieving or soothing right you’re going to do that and then the time comes when do you ask yourself why you’re living that way and not in tune when those needs finally get met and you can move to a different level of needs being met and I feel like again we’re just looking back and holding ourselves responsible all the time and blaming ours like we’re so hard on ourselves we put so much pressure on ourselves right even even looking back at our history at a time when we woke up every day and could do nothing [ __ ] different we look back and judge ourselves over it and say Well when was I going to step up and do it better and it’s like we couldn’t have yeah and I don’t know maybe that judgment’s not the right word but I

do people deserve to feel bad when they consistently do harmful things to others I mean I guess that’s I guess that’s the question for me it’s like well should I have felt good and Justified my actions because I was emotionally sick I don’t know I I don’t feel like I should you know what I mean like I feel like I still there’s still accountability there and again maybe you make the decision that this is the person that I want to be and I’m going to be a person who lies Steals and cheats and that’s just my lifestyle and that’s you know that’s okay maybe they wouldn’t suffer so much with it because at least for me so that lack of Integrity I attribute to being why I felt so bad about myself and why I thought of suicide because I wasn’t living up to the person that I thought I wanted to be or the person that I thought I should be it’s hard to say whether that was a value that was put on me by Society or whether that was one I really genuinely came up with on my own but something inside of me felt so bad and I felt like such a piece of [  ] that death felt better than living that way yes but you can’t understand how when you’re in the throes of like death feels better than living this way why you don’t have time or space to address while you’re living that way like you’re just trying to survive because you feel like you’re in so much pain and I’m not saying acting outside of your integrity didn’t contribute but I don’t think it was the I think there was an egg first right like that was yeah that was the chicken later you know what I mean that that tied in and added to it I don’t know that it was the initial cause I guess yeah I hear you and and I will say I mean a lot of my first introduction to recovery there was a lot of having to let go of this guilt and shame piece you know that I felt like at least for me that idea that saying oh I’m an addict that’s why I did all that cruddy dumb [  ] like I don’t have to like own that in my spirit as being this corrupt you know sick being like I don’t know that that I’ll use the word excuse even though it’s not exactly what I mean but that excuse of saying I was an addict and I had this disease like freed me from a lot of that pain and suffering that word almost works better past tense your behavior was excused yeah you know what I mean it’s not that there was an excuse for it but it was excused it was understandable it was you know relatable but I guess yeah for your like what you’re talking about with emotions like having that uh pain be exe or that behavior be excused gave me a little bit of space to not feel so like such a piece of [  ] that I could actually look at some of my actions and take some responsibility for it well and that’s I think that’s what I love about maybe some of the lenses I’m able to or have been given through my training and everything it’s like I feel like there is that same level of excused or understandable actions after the drugs go away to them you know what I mean like that’s still understandable that we got modeled this negative thing and we’re just kind of recreating it over and over again that makes more sense to me than just I’m a piece of [  ] or God I got rid of the drugs and I still can’t get my [  ] together or whatever I want to say in that moment yeah right um another couple things that are the Narcotics Anonymous literature says uh out of the step working guys principle of Integrity can be quite complex well yeah we figured that out in the first 40 minutes here uh we we got that but it is integrity more than anything else that commands our ability to practice other principles in fact Integrity is knowing which principles we need to practice in a given situation and in what measure for instance we’re standing outside a meeting one night and happen to be a part of a group that begins gossiping about someone else in the program let’s say they’re discussing the affair our best friend’s spouse is having and we know it to be true because we heard it from our best friend the previous night knowing what to do in this situation will probably take every ounce of Integrity we possess so which spiritual principles do we need in this situation honesty tolerance respect restraint it’s probably our first impulse to rush in condemning the gossip because we know how much it would hurt our friend to have such private matters discussed publicly but by doing so we may confirm the gossip’s truth and so hurt our friend more or we may end up self-righteously humiliating the people involved in the gossip most of the time it isn’t necessary to prove we have integrity by confronting a situation as that we don’t approve of there are a couple of things we could do in this situation we could either change the subject or we could excuse ourselves and walk away either of these choices would send a subtle message about our feelings and at the same time allow us to be true to our own principles and spare our friend as much as possible that was a lot yeah that was a lot what do you think though Integrity being the the what spiritual principle to put in place and how much of it to put in place I I got a feeling Billy’s gonna love this because he talks about all the time yeah that’s I mean to me that’s the Crux of the whole process of recovery you know it’s like that’s what I’m constantly trying to do the thing I thought about most there was it’s so much easier to do in situations that don’t require an immediate response you know what I mean it’s like oh I have an issue at work with a co-worker so I can go back and talk to my sponsor or other people in my support group and then figure out what the best way to deal with those things are it’s way harder when you’re confronted with situations like that need an immediate response or when you’re like immediately in a situation well then it’s way harder but like in a situation like like that you know they’re talking about they’re like yeah I mean I don’t know for me it’s not that difficult to just think oh yeah I gotta get out of this I don’t you know what I mean like hey guys I gotta go I’ll talk to you later and just bail you know I mean that’s probably in that case what I would do I felt like both of their suggestions in my mind don’t really do what they need to do like I I don’t know they feel like avoiding well and I thought the harder part for me is not to just jump in and be right in the gossip be like oh yeah did you [  ] hear that it’s crazy I mean but that’s what I’ve learned about my personality and that’s what I mean by being a person of Integrity like I know that’s the wrong thing to do but I tend to be a person that gets caught up in gossip and we’ll tell him it [  ] happens at work you know and I gotta own that and be like that’s a thing that I do I don’t like it about myself so I need to be aware when those situations are coming up like to me that’s Integrity it’s not that oh I never gossip like no I [  ] do like the Integrity comes of like I don’t like that about myself and now I want to try to do something different [Music] foreign


like you you wouldn’t want to talk about people behind their back and so if I think it’s practice practice if you already had that value that Integrity value in mind if you came into a gossip situation you would just be like I don’t do that you know that could be your immediate response you know if you know you’re talking about like not having that reactionary response ready but if you don’t if you practice why speak you don’t gossip so I’m not taking part in this and you don’t have to you don’t have to like no because it seemed like that little story you read was like there’s a lot of reading into it like several layers and you wouldn’t have to mess around with all that overthinking yeah that’s why I’m way too unemotionally intelligent to be that deep into the well if I say this then they’re gonna know well that’s where like who’s doing what I was thinking like with authenticity instead of Integrity I could just stand there and say hey guys I look I’ve been working all night like gossiping and stuff and I I think we probably all feel better can we talk about something else like you guys can talk about that after I that’d be leave for the night or but I feel like that piece at least gets the chance to express my emotions and how I feel whereas the pieces they gave me it was like no tend to your own [  ] and just roll out and don’t share any of that or don’t give them the opportunity to be their eyes and ears either by sharing that with them where you’re at in a non-judge been away or you know what I mean like I don’t know just didn’t feel like it hit the mark Billy I don’t think you’re gonna like this one because this one sounds like uh Integrity as as being whole but this is out of our literature it says Integrity is the state of being fully integrated our actions our thinking our feelings our ideals and our values all match up it takes a long time for a lot of us to get here and longer still for us to feel like it’s real more and more we we are able to bring our Behavior into alignment with our values and beliefs rather than our feelings and reactions I kind of disagree with that last line because that sounds like it separates it again and isn’t fully integrated but whatever what do you think about that I mean I think I like that that’s actually what I believe is happened you know what I mean I become to know what my values are then by practicing them in my life that becomes a part of who I am you know I don’t have to think so much like now usually if I say I’m gonna be somewhere I’m there you know and and the other thing about integrity is like if you’re a person of Integrity like if something happened let’s say you know we do this podcast all the time if for one week you just didn’t show up or something I wouldn’t be like ah Jason there goes all this [  ] Integrity he now has none it would be like oh [  ] something seriously must have happened like or or but what if something seriously didn’t happen wouldn’t you wouldn’t you judge my Integrity a little bit afterwards if I was just like ah yeah I didn’t get up Billy I didn’t feel like once well I mean like that’s pretty weird like why the [  ] like huh that’s odd I would definitely but what I mean is I wouldn’t immediately be like oh you can’t trust him anymore he’s never a person that cares where he said you know it’s like but anyway yeah I think that’s what happens is like I become a person who lives by my values what I think is important and you know that lines up with my actions I guess the one piece of what I didn’t like was it it started in the beginning talking about we got all these things into alignment our feelings our reactions our emotions our our values like they all came together and then at the end it was like and then we make sure to line up our our behaviors with you know our values and not our emotions and I was like ah I think our emotion should be in there too for sure well and the part of that that I guess I struggle with is like for me my thinking is the way I interpret being an addict like my thinking is in I mean my disease is in my thinking and so most time like my first thought can be kind of [ __ ] up you know like it can be very self-centered and very like get what I want kind of thing and sometimes I gotta take a minute to recognize that and I don’t know I mean I don’t know if that’s ever gonna change I guess maybe in some way it does but hmm so I came across this reading and it talked about the idea that we measure Integrity when we’re trying to measure it through our different quizzes and tests and and scientific searches in one time increments generally like do you show up with Integrity in this situation here um and it says philosophers have been particularly concerned to understand what it is for a person to exhibit Integrity throughout a lifetime which is a little different um and so it’s like questions what is it to be a person of Integrity ordinary discourse about integrity involves two fundamental institutions first that Integrity is primarily a formal relation one has to oneself or between parts or aspects of oneself right so that’s the first piece it’s about our relationship to us and then second Integrity is connected in an important way to acting morally in other words there are some substantive or normative constraints on what it is to act with integrity so this is this is kind of where I started to go off the rails with the integrity versus authenticity idea and you know do I want to be morally constrained um by whatever the morals right whatever that is right um you know Kim put in my wife Kim she said she had always heard of Integrity as doing the right thing when nobody’s watching which I think is our kind of our base level like what we tell people yeah I don’t know I feel like we have a hard time doing Integrity or whatever when people are watching or authenticity at least well and that first part of that when you talked about you know it’s like the in touch with ourself the Oneness part I think that’s the most important piece you know that’s what it means when nobody’s looking so you know I’ll do I do the right thing when nobody’s around you know yeah but this is where this gets confusing for me and this is where I like the authenticity better right so okay say I’m a person that believes in vacuuming my floor every Sunday and you know doing some house cleaning on Sundays that’s what that’s important to me that’s just what I like to do and the people in my house see that and they know I do that and I get probably some praise for doing that oh yeah Jason’s that great guy does his cleaning every Sunday morning this place looks awesome right and then one Sunday I don’t feel like it so what would be right for me in that day if Nobody’s around I might sit around and tend to myself and read a book and drink a tea or something

but I might feel like that’s the wrong thing because of integrity because Integrity says I’m the guy that does the same thing when nobody’s looking And yet when nobody was looking I felt like I wouldn’t be judged for a second and I actually had the space to give myself some time for myself which authentically would be great but an integrity’s lens might look like a bad thing in my own head it’s not even matter if I know the people judge me with it and that’s where I’m like this gets weird trying to live up to this code and you know what I mean like oh yeah that’s where it depends on what’s important to you you know I mean that’s where you have to figure out what your values are I came across this paragraph it says authenticity is essentially being true to who you say you are and to what you say you believe Integrity is being true to principles external to yourself a principle is a self-evident truth that bears up over time across generations and within most cultures so like I guess the problem with Integrity is we’re going to feel like there’s a certain place we have to be oh my sister invited me to her kids birthday party Integrity says I go because I don’t have nothing else even if it’s not the right thing for me today like Integrity sets me up to do the so-called right thing in a situation even when it’s harmful to me it never says like hey Integrity is doing the right thing whether people are watching or not as long as it’s still correction doesn’t harm you you know what I mean so I walk around and I don’t know if other people do this or not but I walk around and I tend to skew to put in too much pressure on myself and trying to figure out what everybody else is going to think of my integrity and look I’m not actively doing this but when a situation comes up I’m worried what will they think if I do the right thing for me here they’re gonna judge me and they are because I’m doing stuff they don’t like but there’s a certain level of thinking about other people that should be involved when you live in interact and communicate in a world with other people and that’s going to affect I think the level of I want to use the word intimacy I don’t know if that’s exactly right but that’s going to affect the quality of the relationships that you have in your life like you know yeah every situation that I come into like my feelings and whatever matter but so should my wife and my kids like they all have some level of concern or should at least to me should have some level of concern in there as well it’s not I mean if it comes to like life or death like if I do this thing I’m gonna have a mental [  ] breakdown well then it’s probably all about me but if it’s a case where well I’m going to be a little uncomfortable going to my kids [  ] recital because I don’t feel that great and I got a headache and I’d rather stay home you know I’m probably going to go to the recital because my kid it means something to them like and and that’s the balancing it out it doesn’t mean something to them do you even ever bother to ask or do you just assume that you know what’s good for them um well in that case I may assume or I may ask you know it depends on what the plans are so right or we may talk about it ahead of time you know I just want to put out there that should is could with shame all the [  ] over it that’s all I’m about to put out there no I I don’t I don’t disagree with what you’re saying but I I don’t think it leaves rude for us to do what’s right for us I think we constantly have this judge in our head saying what we should do and shouldn’t do and it doesn’t leave room for us to show up and feel different on that day or to show up and think man maybe taking care of my headache is more important maybe my kid doesn’t even give a [  ] in fact maybe my kid would prefer I’m not there because they get stressed when I’m watching them maybe they’d rather me see a video of them performing like I just walk through life being so hard on myself about what I’m supposed to be doing and not supposed to be doing and all these ways that I needed to act with integrity and I can judge myself for not doing it later wow that’s new yeah um and it’s just really really hard um this gentleman Stephen Carter wrote a book in 1996 and he came up with a framework in his mind for determining acts of Integrity uh he says you discern what is right and wrong oh yes nice and simple you just discern what’s right and wrong right then you do what you have discerned even at personal cost and then you declare openly you’re acting on what you have discerned is right that’s the framework for acting Integrity yeah well I think that and so we were talking about you know everybody judging each other’s integrity that is probably the method with which you discern your own Integrity by judging others sorry I didn’t mean I cut you off there no but that’s exact we when I say the Judgment of others what’s really happening is we have this encapsulated in our own brain we have our own inner critic constantly judging us from the standpoint of others that’s what I’m really talking about it it doesn’t mean a [  ] less about the people outside this building it actually means the person in our head that’s constantly taking the lens of what the world will think about us and telling us all the time oh yeah you did that one wrong you should have did this it’s not really the people out there that are going to judge me it’s me right but it’s judging from them in my head that’s where I I get all [  ] up so yeah Gathering from all the discussion it seems like Integrity Done Right is extremely personal using your word authenticity too um is there like a community Integrity though I’m trying to like like a community acting together has Integrity around certain values like but then I don’t know we’re going with this but like and then it it boils down to like there’s personal integrity and then there’s like Community integrity and within a community you you kind of take in that with like an individual would take in the community’s standards like it or not or maybe absolutely reject it but I mean anyway from the whole conversation for me listening to you guys talk it just sounds like Integrity is like extremely personal just that sounded like a jab during this whole conversation listen to you guys sorry Jenny no no jump in damn it well there were blocks of time where I was just like really processing what you guys were saying but it wasn’t a job [Laughter] because my Integrity right it’s my internal judge that the world is judging me um so I read a couple of situations that were interesting this talked about the idea of you you know if you’re a boss at a company you would want to hire people with Integrity right that’s what people are going we want people with Integrity there’s a lot of what I’ve come up with when I was doing a little research yeah I apply so much to work and how you measure hiring employees and how you’re who you’re looking for like but it’s so personal like it’s the business probably has its own Integrity oh it does yeah there’s definitely it’s like we don’t want a people there that you know isn’t necessarily their integrity not people with integrity Integrity the business isn’t it right well the interesting thing was I think this big thing and like your point now all the research is on that why because companies put all the money into the research on that to try to get employees that do what the [  ] they want them to do anyway um it gave situations and it said Hey listen this is what you’re looking for people with Integrity but be prepared for this because this is what you also get with people with Integrity um so it says what you will end up getting uh you will get people that don’t show up as yes people they will show up as no people and they will tell you that they don’t see what they think you’re saying they see like if you’re saying hey this workspace is a family and we’re all connected they’ll be the people that will step up to your office and say no it’s not yeah this [  ] isn’t no [ __ ] family right so be prepared for that if you hire people with things they’re so dysfunctional so

you know they will tell you what’s wrong in your office place um they will be rigid about principles this is another thing about integrity which made me kind of was like the red herring that threw me into like wait a minute is this good because people with Integrity are black and white and rigid and generally in my understanding that is not a healthy functional adult place to be um but it says you know they they seem stubborn when discussing values and beliefs because people with Integrity are consistently stubborn and they believe they are right I was like oh so these are some of the drawbacks to Integrity um there’s another thing that came up while I was researching Integrity that I thought would be interesting to bring up here it’s called the fundamental attribution error yeah I know I didn’t know what that meant either so I had to look into what it meant fundamental attribution error when I do bad things it’s because I know what’s going on in my life I understand the internal pressures I’m under so I get why I have to do this thing instead of what I would normally do but for others I don’t know the internal circumstances so I just say they’re a bad person um people all crack under pressure but we can’t see it that way in the moment because when we’re calling it out in that person we’re not getting what we wanted from them that’s what’s happening in that moment right my wife doesn’t have integrity when she didn’t remember to make my breakfast sandwich for the next morning if she said she was going to you know my kids don’t have integrity when they don’t get the good grades or do the homework when nobody’s looking but it’s all reflections of what they didn’t do that would have pleased me and ways I’m less happy because they didn’t do it but I can’t understand for them when they didn’t do it because I can’t see their internal stuff I can’t measure their emotional state I have no clue if they’re actually physically capable of doing that homework when nobody’s looking I assume they are because I say of course you are you sit down you [ __ ] do it right I don’t know but I give myself sometimes the past because of course I can I understand I was struggling that week it was a tough day and so and so cut me off and but I can’t see that inside others and so I tend to judge more harshly I don’t have the excuses for them and I thought that was an interesting take about it yeah and I do think that’s definitely a more applies to trying to measure other people’s Integrity or look at their integrity or see if someone else has Integrity like I don’t know that that specific what he’s talking about there applies so much to me and how I feel about my own internal Integrity but it definitely applies to like if I’m trying to say oh is this a person of Integrity like is this a person that I want to have in my life you know it definitely could affect the way that I measure but like at least I think in those situations for myself

like compassion is a big part of my moral system so I tend to give people a pass a little more well let me let me ask you this right because as I’m reading this and thinking it through this is the one side of the coin the person who you know in order for them to take on that they did something wrong would be would be death basically and that’s what their nervous system is screaming like you can’t see that about yourself or or we can’t exist anymore so that’s one version of this where we can give ourself the past and everybody else not so much but I’m picturing people Pleasers would be the exact opposite right they’d be the people where everybody else had reasons why they didn’t live up to [  ] but for yourself you’re the [  ] vicious critic all the time and it’s like everybody else gets a pass oh yeah they probably had a bad day they probably going through something but for me there’s no passes ever I’m so hard on myself right like so I could see that version existing too yeah as a recovering people pleaser I can confirm that yeah so that’s not like and again it’s this place of like oh we’re all talking about integrity and trying to live up to this thing but maybe if we stop trying to live up to Integrity we could find more happiness maybe living up to authenticity actually would make us happier than Integrity because in my mind the way we’ve talked about it today authenticity and integrity can’t exist at the same place or at least they don’t line up altogether right to do one means to not do the other at least at times and that’s where I’m like I don’t know if this is the right thing to aim for anymore for me yeah it’s hard to say I mean I don’t want to take everything to extremes though it’s you know well I mean I’m not even thinking extremes personally not with this one like I just I don’t Billy if you said I’ll do something for you next Saturday and when next Saturday came you called me and said Jason I I just think the best thing for me to do is to rest my body today I don’t want you even if I’m [  ] highly disappointed because I’ve been waiting months for us to get this thing finished at my house right I’m still happier that you took care of yourself I don’t ever want you to live up to a contract quote unquote that we agreed upon just because we agreed upon it I don’t want that I don’t want you to be a man of integrity in that moment I want you to [  ] take care of yourself Billy because I love you that’s more important than whatever I want it done yeah and I’m trying to figure out is there a difference of I guess it depends on what you’re looking at as integrity and authenticity if I went to a local store and they said hey we’re going to give you this deal on your whatever cable cell phone whatever we’re local but we’re going to give you this deal we can do it for ten dollars a month and I’m like that’s amazing and then I come back in three months and he’s like look we’ve been running this promo deal right but I’m having trouble feeding my kids I don’t want him to honor that 10 a month contract anymore I want him to raise my [ __ ] bills to his kids can eat that’s what I’m saying like Integrity Integrity would be him living up to that I don’t want him to do that that’s awful can Integrity be your authenticity okay that’ll work but I don’t think that’s what we’re aiming for when we’re aiming for integrity I think Integrity incorporates this societal level or someone else’s level point of view values to some extent well where do I go to extremes I mean in this whatever it’s like well maybe you know you’re a person that wants to harm other people or whatever it’s like well that’s not okay like maybe your authentic self likes hurting people like that’s not okay and that is an extreme that’s what I was like it’s hard to take it to extremes you know so we do have some we have to a base level maybe of moral code of like

in my world like the authenticity to come back at that person who wants to hurt people is for us to step up with Integrity or authenticity or whatever we’re saying then and [  ] care about them until we can help them heal because I don’t think anybody wants to hurt people at their base authentic core or whatever I watch way too much Discovery Channel True Crime serial killer crazy stuff that’ll corrupt your brain anyway so yeah I don’t know I would say uh obviously I’m not completely sure what Integrity is or if it exists or if it’s a real thing or if it’s a thing even if it is real if it’s a thing I want anymore necessarily um but I do think this has been a fascinating [  ] conversation about it it’s been neat to dive into it so go out there [  ] Integrity steal from your stores see what you gotta do tell them tell them recovery sort of sent you [  ] it your integral authentic self and yeah and be kind to yourself and stop putting so much pressure on yourself have a great week [Music] did you like this episode share it with people you think might get something out of it check out the rest of our episodes at recoverysortup.com also while you’re there you can find ways to link up with us on Facebook Twitter Instagram Reddit YouTube anything we’re always looking for new ideas got an idea you want us to look into reach out to us [Music]