Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
—Miguel Angel Ruiz
Have you ever done a little soul searching about whether or not you live of life of integrity? Do you strive to do right or be right? Do you choose integrity in certain situations or at all times? Does your life model the values you believe in? Where is the dividing line between discernment and integrity?
When I reflect on these questions, I can see moments of fear winning over integrity. It is often situational. I feel the pandemic brought this to life quite effectively. How do I discern that what I feel is right for me is right for anyone else? Regardless of what choice I make, the impact of my actions is influenced by my delivery. If I choose to share my beliefs in a space of truth and love, it will remind me to stay open and receive what the other has to say from that same vantage point. If I share my beliefs from a space overflowing with fear, the reception of that will most likely be far less favorable for all parties involved.
I could give plenty of other examples from larger social or cultural examples, but I am going to bring the focus closer to home. To you…to me.
Tough Love Nugget #1: Being in integrity regarding inner critic self-talk is uncomfortable.
When I think of the power of my word, I am immediately reminded of how I talk to myself…what does the ‘committee in judgment land’ (the ego monkey chatter in my head) have to say? It’s an interesting integrity checkpoint. When I choose to be honest with what I am hearing, it’s not always comfortable. Being in integrity about how I can sometimes talk to myself is necessary in order to release the limiting belief, but like I said…not usually fun. Always worth it in the long run, but not fun in the moment…taking me to…
Tough Love Nugget #2: Being in integrity does not yield instant gratification.
Our high-tech world has gotten us used to the immediacy of just about everything. I find that the things I am most passionate about or enjoy doing the most are those I spend time with, investing my energy and passion. They are activities that require a process…cooking…writing…camping…composing…learning a piece for piano…growth work…relationships. In other words, delayed gratification. I enjoy the process and savor the eventual end result. When I find myself needing to act in integrity, the feel-good moment is often delayed. I may have glimpses of peace in my heart for making the right choice, but there is still potential residual aftermath to face…which takes me to…
Tough Love Nugget #3: Being in integrity is not necessarily going to win people over.
There are moments when being in integrity can be challenging because I fear the repercussions of hurting someone. Although I know I need to be honest and share what’s on my mind or my heart, it isn’t always going to be well received. As much as others may want honesty, they aren’t always happy to hear it. Whenever I choose to be honest and vulnerable about something, I remind myself to be firmly grounded in self-love, knowing it is what is true for me. My space of integrity is about aligning within ME; to know and love myself enough to give voice-with truth and love-to how I feel. The dust eventually settles and things shift. Which ties into #4…
Tough Love Nugget #4: People respect your integrity…as long as it doesn’t affect them.
I have heard plenty of people say how much they respect someone for their integrity…until the honesty is directed at them. This connects all of the tough love nuggets. When I find myself being challenged by someone else’s word, I have to pause and ask myself why. Is there truth to what they are saying that I don’t want to hear? Is it a situation of misunderstanding? Is it a nudge that I need to deepen my self-love and allow for strong differences in opinion? Living in integrity requires some aspect of a relationship with your own self. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it simply needs to exist in some form. I am a firm believer that every day offers us an opportunity to deepen our place of self-love and acceptance.
It takes a decent amount of chutzpah to live in alignment with who you are and to accept yourself in the process, regardless of how you are received. Living in integrity takes a lot of self-love, courage, and vulnerability. It all starts from within, from relationship with yourself. Without integrity in relation to who you are, it will be more of a challenge to live in integrity around you.
Walking together in light, love, and peace🙏