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You are not always acting with integrity.

awareness growth Aug 21, 2023
fingers crossed behind back

If someone called you out when you did something contrary to what you said you would do, would it stop you in your tracks?

What would be your response or reaction?

All too often, we want to defend ourselves and come up with all the ways we did not or could not have acted against our word.

And that, right there, would be out of integrity if you are the type of person on a path of growth.

If you want to grow, it means you want to learn and increase your awareness of what is as it is.

And there will be times when you are not acting with integrity.

There are three ways we ALL do it.

#1. Commitment to yourself. We have all made commitments to ourselves, such as new year's resolutions, to exercise, eat healthier, meditate, write, or invest in our relationships. And then we do not follow through. That is a lack of integrity with yourself.

#2. Commitment to others. We have all committed to people and then changed our minds, allowed things to come up, or made assumptions about things such that we did not follow through. That's an integrity issue with your commitment to others.

#3. Commitment to growth. For those committed to growth, it means being open and assuming responsibility when we are called out on our actions not matching our words, or vice versa. If you react, make excuses, and need to let the other person know your reasoning, that's not assuming responsibility. And that's an integrity issue with your commitment to growth.

Think of it this way, how would you react or respond if someone called you a liar?

Think about it for a moment. Take a deep breath, and imagine someone you care about, who knows you, calling you a liar. I am not talking about naysayers or haters here. I am talking about people you trust on your journey of growth.

What's your reaction or response?

If it's not "you are right," PERIOD, It shows a lack of integrity.

Wait? What?

If you do anything but acknowledge it, you are not being honest with yourself. Your perception or beliefs are heavily skewed.

It helps me to check the dictionary definitions to gain clarity in situations like these. Let's start with integrity.

in·teg·ri·ty (/ɪntɛgrɪti/) Noun

-         Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.

-         The state of being wholesome; unimpaired

-         The quality or condition of being complete; pure

That's a way higher standard than I realized before looking up that word. What about you?

And now that you see this high standard, can you still say you are someone who always acts with integrity? Or is it some of the time?

Most of us do act with integrity some of the time. But do any of us act with integrity all of the time? Be honest with yourself.

Now, let's look at the definition of a liar.

li·ar (/laɪər/) Noun

-         One who tells lies.

That one is super simple. Have you ever told a lie? Have you told more than one?

Then you are, by definition, a liar. Simple.

Does it sting a little? It shouldn't if you understand that no one is always one thing. We are transient beings with a full range of human emotions, thoughts, ideas and ways of seeing the world available to us.

We are also reasoning beings, and we reason ourselves out of reality to suit our view of ourselves and the world. It's called survival.

Does being a liar mean you lie all the time? No. But if you have told more than one, you are someone who has told lies.

"But wait," you might be thinking, "that's past tense, and the definition is present tense."

So, you want to tell me you no longer tell lies?

That sounds like a lie already. Have you got another one?

Are you getting the point?

It is not about casting judgment on others or yourself. It is about living in a world where you embrace the fullness of who you are, react less, and develop a stronger ability to respond to life.

You aren't always going to act with integrity. You aren't always going to tell the truth.

The awareness of this reality allows you to strive to be a better person, to do better tomorrow than you did yesterday.

Integrity and truth are required for those committed to a path of growth. And there are days you will fall short. And there are days when someone will lovingly (or not so lovingly) call you out on it.

What will your response be?

A few years ago, a close and dear friend called me out on something she noticed. It felt profoundly judgmental and false, which was unprecedented in our relationship. It created a chasm in what had been, up to that point, a sincere and open relationship where I felt I could share just about anything.

But if I am honest, I know a part of me knew what she meant. Was it 100% true? No. But it wasn't 100% false either.

Living with integrity and truth means looking at even the 1% that might be true because it's in looking that we gain awareness, learn and grow.

I want to become the person who, when called out, can say, "Yes, I am. Thanks for calling me out on that."

And that's a huge commitment because I know I am far from that mark. But I also know that choosing to live a life of integrity means standing behind all my words and commitments, even if I often fall short of them.

What about you? What is your commitment to yourself and the life you are creating?


Much love,
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