“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to
succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have.”
– Abraham Lincoln
Integrity. It’s such a big word…
I mean… do I even know what it truly means?
But first of all, why even bother asking oneself what it truly means?
If we can’t see it, we can’t change it… Words are symbols for reasons, ideas, concepts, feelings… That might be messing it up for us…
I believe we will never fully understand a concept until we’ve experienced the truth of it…
But the day that we finally get a word, an idea, to symbolise & describe what we’ve been experiencing, putting words to our exact feelings. This is a liberating moment.
So, Integrity comes from Latin, integritas, which means Whole.
So. if integrity means to be “wholeness”, then lack of integrity means broken, divided, incomplete.
But wait a minute… What the heck? Whole? What do I mean with whole? Can a human being ever be whole? Can a human being be broken?
As I see it… Integrity is when your decisions in thought, word and deed, is aligned with who you truly are as a person…
It’s when your daily behaviour matches your highest visions of who you are…
When you lack integrity, you are acting in a way that is aligned with who you truly are… What you love, care about, believe & think is right…
O my Goodness…
I have to get concrete here… Hey, I’m swimming around in the abstract… Get real! OK!
INTEGRITY IN ACTION
So, my definitions of integrity is:
Acting in a way that you believe will yield results you can see yourself being proud of.
I love the question posed by Viktor Frankl:
”Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now.”
Integrity sounds like:
* “I truly love to paint. Therefore I paint a lot.”
* “I believe it’s right to take care of my health. Therefore I take care of my health in every way.”
* “I do what I hold to be right & true rather than what’s easiest and most convenient at the moment.”
Results of Acting in Integrity:
* A feeling of wholeness
* Feeling Worthy
Lack of Integrity sound like:
* “I truly love to paint, but I don’t do it, because it’s not accepted in my family.”
* “I believe it’s important to tell the truth but I’m scared & it’s hard so I lie.”
* “I don’t believe what my parents believe, but I’m to scared to share my insecurities, so I just abide to their beliefs instead of opening up about my insecurities & doubts.”
Results of Acting Out of Integrity:
* Low self-worth
* Low Confidence
* Not able to look deep into your peers eyes
* Hiding from people you think win disprove of your choices
LOVE & FEAR
Love and fear…
Either we’re coming from a place of love, or a place of fear.
Fear of not being liked… Fear of being different… Fear of… the unknown… Fear of… almost anything…
Or we can act out of love: Love of our vision, love of our values, love of the people around us.
At any instance, we have the power to choose between love and fear.
Acting out of fear creates lack of integrity… We’re “forced” to do things that doesn’t speak to our hearts.
But on the other hand, listening to love… this voice in your heart… This creates integrity, wholeness & growth…
At any moment, you have these two councillors to listen to… They encourage you to do different things…
FEAR encourages you to stay as you are… Fear wants you to stay in the safe harbour… Fear wants you to avoid risks, at all cost… Fear tells you to judge before you get judged… Fear tells you not to be different from the majority… Fear tells you to go with the flow, and everything will be just fine…
Listening to the inner voice of fear leads to a life of regret, shame, hypocrisy & conformity…
LOVE encourages you to listen to your heart, be true to it & be courageous… Love tells you to open up and connect… Love wants you to expand… Love tells you to make that call… Love tells you to follow that dream… Love tells you to
Listening to the inner voice of love leads to a life of adventure, joy, peace, harmony, wholeness, courage & yes… integrity.
Ok, so let’s get down to business… I highly agree with one of my earlier mentors Marcus Aurelius when he encourages us to:
“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.”
– Marcus Aurelius
(But I will still continue exploring ideas daily, that I really believe has an impacts our lives, weather we believe it or not…)
* What part of your life are you most proud of? What quality?
* What part of your life could you act more in integrity with your deepest values?
* Where is fear showing up in your life? Is it limiting you? Or pushing you to act out of integrity?
* How can you choose love more often? Open up more? Expanding more?
* What do you truly love? What activities? Who do you love? Listen to love.
With love, in love,
Integrity has many names
(perhaps you’ve heard some of these in poetry, literature or psychology?)
* True to Oneself
* Strong Character
Lack of Integrity also has many names:
* Cognitive Dissonance
* Existential Vacuum
* Existential Crisis
* The Soul’s Cry