1. steadfast adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished
(Thank you dictionary.com!)
There are so many things in our society that want to temp us. Lead us astray and cause us to lose our focus: Society. Social Pressures. Media Images. Jealousy. Greed.
With so much temptation to think a certain way, or be this-way-or-that, how will I lead a life of integrity? How will I lead a life that is TRUE to myself?
My definition of INTEGRITY is this: knowing what is true for me, and acting on it.
What I know: I want to live a HAPPY, LOVING, FULFILLING life that is SAFE for me and other people.
I catch myself, and recognize when I am NOT living in my self-integrity. Here is a perfect example. This weekend (at the AWAKE retreat), we had an interesting exercise. After a wonderful talk, we were given the option of the following activity: Think of something that you have allowed yourself to believe, write it on a piece of paper, and nail it to the cross in the middle of the room.
My thoughts came to me so quickly I couldn't decided which one to write. "I'm not pretty enough." "I'm not skinny enough." "I'm not smart enough." "I wasn't a good wife enough." My thoughts went on and on, and came at me surprisingly fast. When I finally made it up to the cross, this is what I wrote on my paper: "I'm not _______ enough."
I couldn't think of JUST ONE thing to write. How sad is that!?
I was embarrassed to write it, but it was true. THAT was what I had allowed myself to believe.
The next day in one of our workshops, the speaker was talking about that exercise and said, "Last night I had the chance to look at some of the papers that people put up on the cross and it just broke my heart. So many women wrote 'I am not something enough.' In fact, someone actually wrote I AM NOT and then put a blank line ENOUGH up on the cross."
That was me. I was the one.
So, what did I learn from that? I've learned that I have a LONG way to go on my journey. That I'm still truckin' along on this journey that I call 'getting to know (and love) myself.'
Why is it that we're so able to love others for who they are, but it's so hard to extend that same acceptance to ourselves?