I’m pretty sure that anyone that has been following the Focusing on the Positive series I have been writing saw this word coming. It was a natural choice: genuine, honesty, integrity. I believe the three words are part of a bigger concept: self-respect.
Integrity, to me, means doing what you say, saying what you mean and meaning what you say, acting from a place of equality, being honest and reliable. I also believe that integrity comes from a place of confidence and knowledge. One cannot act with integrity if they are unsure of where they stand within themself. Integrity comes from a centered soul.
Here is the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of integrity:
: the quality of being honest and fair
: the state of being complete or whole
Full Definition of INTEGRITY
: the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness
Honest, fair, complete, whole, moral or artistic values, unimpaired…sounds like a great platform to be standing on to give confidence to the self as well as provide confidence in you for others. The thing is, when you act with integrity, there is no searching for respect or trust from others. It just happens. Sure, if you have previously lived a life less than moral, one without much integrity if any, then it may take a while for others to recognize, have faith in, your integrity when you start to act with integrity but no one should ever let that deter them from pursuing being someone of integrity. I am of the thought that having integrity is something one does for one’s self with the bonus being it benefits others as well.
I have not always been a person with integrity. I was a leaf blowing in the wind. I could commit to nothing. I was unsure of myself, most everything in my life, and there were no guarantees to what tomorrow would look like. Plus, I was more concerned with protecting myself, pretty self-centered, and honesty could work against me in many situations. Or, at least, I believed that to be true. Then I got clean almost 10 years ago, sat in enough meetings long enough to find out I was worth getting to know better, found my feet (and my spine), and decided that being genuine and honest (with myself and others) was the only way for me to create a better life for myself. After enough time of facing my fear of judgement by others and showing my true self, integrity showed up.
Want to know how I realized I had integrity? Someone used it as a descriptor when describing me to someone else when they didn’t know I could hear them. I was over the moon. The feeling of wholeness that came over me was so amazing that I knew right then and there that I never wanted to ever be thought of as anything other than a person with integrity.
I started paying attention to what I said to make sure there were no small untruths in it. I made sure I never promised anything that I wasn’t 100% certain I could honor and if something came along to alter the timeline of the promise, I immediately informed whoever I had promised and provided them with the new timeline, making sure there was nothing that could ever keep it from happening. I never wanted anyone ever again to think of me as someone who had no integrity, and the inner peace that has brought me has led to so much more, not least of all, self-confidence.
What does integrity mean to you? How does it show up in your life?
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