abundance · dishonesty · faith · fear · honesty · recovery · trust · truth

Horse Thief

There’s a phrase I heard when I got to certain rooms in San
Francisco: If you sober up a drunken horse thief, you still have a horse thief.
Lately, I’ve been getting the chance to acknowledge where I
still act from Horse Thief tendencies and impulses.
I was a thief in High School, probably in Junior High, and
actually come to think of it, in college, too. It was sort of “a thing” me and
my friends did, to see what we could get away with, and also, because we were
only stealing from big conglomerate stores, we felt (or at least I did)
justified, since they were always screwing the little man anyway – What did they care if Maybelline mascara went into my pocket? That’s a fraction of a cent they’ve lost in profit, and I’m standing in solidarity with the
Chinese children they hired to mark the packaging. (
Riii….ght.)
I was, however, pretty clear about not stealing from people, only from these big stores, because there was a line I felt I still had to
maintain, a standard of behavior I adhered to. It wasn’t right to take from
little mom & pop shops, or to steal from actual people I knew. That was wrong.
Stealing from the mall was just expected, written into their budgets in some
corporate headquarters somewhere, and therefore right — or at least okay.
It’s been quite some time since I’ve stolen anything. Probably
since before I moved to SF. But that doesn’t exactly mean that the Horse Thief
has been repentant or ousted.
I have all the stores I’ve “reappropriated” from on a list
that I am slowly chipping away at, to make amends to, either by sending in
money for items, or “paying it forward” by donating to a charity. Each will
have a conversation with a trusted friend around it when the time comes.
But, I’ve lately recognized that there is still a pattern of dishonest behavior and thinking that infiltrates my current life.
When I was working through a temp agency while in grad school,
I got to open the invoices to see what the company I worked for was actually paying the temp agency, and it was certainly higher than the rate at which I was being paid by said agency (which, duh, is how they profit). So I approached the company I was working for, and asked if they
would just hire me under the table. That way, my Horse Thief logic went, it was
cheaper for them, and I would get a few more dollars, since it wasn’t going to
be taxed.
Um… Yeah. That didn’t work out so well. Even though I was
“working a program,” even though I could talk about the necessity of honesty
and integrity in life, and seriously really mean it, this dishonesty was
creating holes in my abundance, and in my sobriety/serenity.
Plus, I got caught. The temp agency found me out, and called
the company where I was a receptionist, and when I answered the phone, she
“surprisedly” said, Oh, Hi Molly…
Oops.
So, there were emails and phone calls and conversations
between the HR at the company where I was and the temp agency I’d spurned.
After talking with some trusted friends, I wrote an email to the agency, owning
up to my part of this deception.
And, in the end, when tax time rolled around, I got a 1099
from the company, anyway, since I’d earned a significant amount in the 5 or so
months I temped under the table for them, and I had to pay taxes on that money
anyway. Which meant that I ended up earning less from my time there than I
would have if I’d just continued working through the proper (read: legal)
channels.
I have a moral line about not stealing pens from work, or
using stamps I didn’t pay for. But there are other ways in which this fear of
not being taken care of, this fear that my needs will not be met creeps out.
This poisonous fear seeps into my life, and I make choices
based on that fear. And eventually, I am screwed by it.
It’s been interesting to notice that this is a pattern that
has continued into my adulthood. It’s certainly rooted in a long-held belief
that my needs will not be met. That if I behave along “proper” channels, I
won’t get or have enough. That if I behave by rules and laws that are set down, I will not be taken care of.
So, I better get my fearful, sticky claws into something, I better come up with some better, sneaky ideas, or
else I’ll be eating ramen again.
I get it. I see it.
And I hope to change it.
A trusted friend does a lot of work with affirmations to
counter fear. So, this morning, I used that tool:
I fear my needs will not be met.
I trust that the Universe cares for all my needs.
I fear that no one is looking out for my good.
The Universe cares deeply for me.
Sure, maybe it’s bunk. But, right now, I don’t know another
way, except to “act as if” these things are true. To try to behave in a way
that really does align with my morals, instead of with my fears. 
I have also heard that, with every bought of true honesty or clarity or bill paid on time or phone call from creditor answered, that we are closing up the holes in the sieve that holds abundance. Each time my covers are pulled, I get the chance to be more honest, and thereby the chance to mend the bucket into which the fullness of life is surely always being and going to be poured.
I cannot turn a drunken horse thief (or a sober one for that
matter) into an upstanding citizen. But I can try to trust that I don’t have to
be one anymore. 

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