We hear the word all the time, yet what does it really mean to have integrity? It means living having strong ethical principles we actually live by, even when it’s hard. It means we are able to be consistently honest with ourselves first! Then with everyone else because we are sure what our truth is. Our truth does not change because of circumstances. Or temptation. Or Fear.
That’s being able to live with ourselves is higher value. Something is more important than something else, and you can articulate your why behind it. More important than your fear. Your fear of changing, your fear of rejection, hatred or abandonment. Your fear of making the wrong decision. It’s both hard and good to be strong in your values, because many decisions will be a “no-brainer”, because you already know what the right thing is to do and why.
People cannot take our integrity away we have to give it away piece by piece. We give it away every time we say yes to something that we don’t agree with. To something that doesn’t feel right for good reasons. We give it away every time we people please and go against what matters most to us, go against what we believe, or what we really feel. You give a piece away every time you allow someone to ignore your boundaries. Or maybe you haven’t even set one yet…
You cannot be at peace with yourself if you are going against what you believe in or what you value. You cannot trust yourself if you lack the courage to stand in your truth. To risk others being upset with you to do the right thing. Of course, healthy people would never want you nor ask you to betray yourself. In fact, if they witness that I’m pretty sure they would slowly back away from you. Only unhealthy people would manipulate you to be what they need regardless of where that leaves you.
So if you’ve been feeling anxious, depressed or just full of shame, take a look at your values and beliefs – and then look around at your life. If there’s disparity between the insides and the outsides it may be an integrity issue. Because, the truth will always, always set you free.