Are You In Integrity?
I recently read, The Way of Integrity by Martha Beck. It flipped the script on what the word integrity meant to me. In the book, Martha explains the idea that we can put our lives into integrity the way an airplane can be put into structural integrity.
“If all the millions of pieces are functioning together, the plane will fly. If the parts are out of kilter, the plane will crash. Our lives work the same way. When we’re able to stay in integrity (the word simply means “whole” or “intact”), everything in our lives works better. We can do remarkable things, like a massive metal machine that can fly. But when we depart from our true nature, whatever that may be, we get internally divided.”
We are all socialized to suppress aspects of our nature to fit in or go along. Beck says, “when you forced yourself to do things that weren’t true to your instincts you split away from your real self. You went from being in integrity (one thing) to being in duplicity (two things). For the people pleasers out there, if you ever tried to please many people, all with slightly different preferences, you were in “multiplicity” (many things).”
The end of the year and the holidays are a major time for people to feel anxiety or social pressure, making it is easy to fall outside of integrity. Here are a few things I do that help me stay in integrity:
- I don’t lie. We all have a tendency to make up fake excuses for why we don’t want to do something to avoid hurting feelings or we tell people things that may not be totally true because you think it will make them feel better. By doing this your are out of integrity. Say your truth or don’t say anything at all.
- I let go of anything that is causing me to feel anxious/ pulled in multiple directions. I can’t be everywhere at once. In my personal life (and often in business) I will only show up for the things that make me feel good, serve me and for the people I value most.
- I take 100% responsibility for the things that happen in my life. I don’t waste even a second complaining and instantly I ask myself, “what can you do about it?
Once in integrity you can now feel what you really feel, say what you’ve always wanted to say, and do what you really want to do. The more you do these new things, the more they will become habits. It doesn’t have to be all at once, but each time you do more of the things you love and let go of the things you don’t, you will come closer to being in integrity and your life will open up to new and real opportunities that support your true nature.