Integrity, in one of Webster’s definitions, is:
The word has come at me from many directions in the last few weeks and I think it’s time to explore it with you. In particular, this week, I’d like to dive into what it means to be in integrity with ourselves. Is that possible? What does it feel like? What is the value of this inner unity?
Internal integrity, for me, is that peace that comes from knowing and accepting who I am and living as that me at all times. It means that my actions in this moment reflect my innermost beliefs and desires. What you see me doing is a willing choice on my part. And when you and I are in relationship, I am at peace and you can sense the wholeness in me. Valuable?
You bet! Imagine for a moment the many ways you walk in the world today, showing your smile, yet harboring frustration, anger, wish-I-were-somewhere-else thoughts. How much energy are you expending and stress are you experiencing in order to cover up what you don’t want the world to see?
Take a moment now to imagine what it feels like when your inner being is fully aligned with the activity of your outer being. You are with people you want to be with. You are doing something that brings you joy or fulfillment. What are the benefits of acting in integrity with your inner self? Do you find yourself energized? Do you sleep better when life is less stressful and less conflicted?
But, is it possible? Can we really walk in the world as peace, as a being fully in integrity with our innermost beliefs, desires, essence?
Well, I’d love to respond with a wholehearted, “Yes”! Yet my personal experience is that, no matter how much I desire this serenity, I sometimes slip into faking it and find myself keeping commitments that I no longer want to keep and am not emotionally present to in the moment. Perhaps you can relate to these examples:
- Though I like my job, I don’t want to be there today. I go anyway and find myself only moderately productive, spending more time chatting or daydreaming than doing real work.
- I love my children but today’s demands are beyond my ability to meet lovingly. I meet them anyway but my temper is short and my impatience shows.
- You are a dear friend and you have called again to connect. I’m busy. I talk anyway while my mind is sidetracked on the tasks that are not getting done.
Yet the benefits of living in integrity for both myself and those with whom I interact are so great! How can I be in integrity more of the time? What if it’s all in our attitude? What if inner integrity is a choice, a frame of mind? Let’s imagine that scenario for a moment:
- I go to work anyway because I choose to receive the paycheck which supports me and those I love. I choose to believe that my efforts help others and that makes me feel good. Going to work this day is in integrity with a deeper part of my being and I can be whole with this choice today.
- I hear my children’s needs and remember that I chose to accept the responsibility of parenthood. It is important to me that my children sense my love freely given. I can choose to give willingly and freely today.
- This friendship is important to me. When I compare the benefits of the relationship to the tasks I think need to be done, I realize that this phone call can come first and I choose to be wholly present to the conversation.
Try it! Acknowledge the inner turmoil. Realize that you have choice. The freely, willingly, choose to do whatever it is that you face in this moment.
What is possible from inner integrity?
What is the impact?
(*) If living from deep inner integrity sounds powerful and you’d like a partner on your journey, contact me, your Inward Journey Life Coach. ~ Jeanne