Are there two types of honesty? For me, there seem to be. First is the Ego-Boosting kind where I look like such an honest person. For example, I may have returned something given to me by mistake or corrected a clerk who gave me too much change. This type of honesty is important, but compared to the second type, it’s easy because I will usually get a lot of approval and others are so pleased. HONESTY of the second type is much harder for me because I must own a wrong I have done or a character defect. HONESTY brings me to my knees with humility. In the fellowship of S-Anon, I have been finding the love and support to work on this more difficult, yet rewarding form of HONESTY. It is like a “breath of fresh air” as the weight and pain of dishonest secrets are acknowledged. With the first type of honesty I can be relatively sure that others will respond in a positive fashion. Since one of my character defects is to try to control things, this honesty is easier for me. It seems risky when I venture out with the second type of HONESTY. Others could respond by rejecting me or being hurt or angry—emotions I prefer to avoid in my life as I try to protect myself. Thanks to the trust I am developing with my fellow S-Anon members, I am being more HONEST and finding warmth and loving acceptance. What a wonderful gift! I continue to be grateful for what I have been given.
Reprinted from Working the S-Anon Program, 2nd Edition, page 50.