The Anatomy of Integrity
The foundation of skillful communication is...
... steadiness and ease.
Saying what needs to be said, doing the right thing, answering to your heart, are acts of courage. To be yourSelf in times, spaces and places where the best imitations win, is rarely applauded. So naturally we shy back, seeking to fit in, to be accepted. It is a fundamental human need to have connections, community and most of us would rather censure ourselves, keep quiet, belittle ourselves, not listen to any ringing bells, rather than radiate confidence and deliberation. But this may leaves us empty, confused and sometimes frustrated. We may seek to remedy our closed heart and beat up integrity with all sorts of "Novocain spirituality" (borrowed from Teal Swan) and self-help, in attempt to patch ourselves up, from the outside.
I call it The Gate Keeper, the boundary bouncer, the intelligence that scrutinizes who and what may or may not enter the heart and soul. Integrity is the soul's immune system. The stronger and more steady it is, the more resilient and free it makes us, the more clarity it offers our mind, to do the right thing. And also, the more we communicate compassionately and skillfully, since our expressions will emerge from our heartfelt values instead of fear and insecurities. The more we strengthen our integrity (because we can), the more difficult and painful it will be for us to go against it.
As you become more loyal to your inner gate keeper, you might notice changes in certain situations and people around you. You may realize that people start finding you difficult, others may become drawn to you as you radiate calm, confidence and authenticity. You will most likely leave situations where fitting in is required, you will become extra attentive to injustices and inappropriate comments and jokes, and you will speak up. You will stand up for what you believe in, you will ask for help when you need it without feeling small, you will offer your assistance when you see it would be appreciated. You will listen wholeheartedly to what others have to say, you will be able to spot fake news. You will forgive yourself for having bad judgment (as such things happen even to a person of strong integrity) and when you've made bad decisions, you will do your best to correct your errors. You will also let go of wrongdoers, without forgetting what they've done. You are focused on moving forward, honoring the past, honoring all your teachers. You will enjoy solitude. And self-care, would be a priority. Lifting others and giving thanks, will be natural for you. You will notice that you carry yourself differently. You will move with a sense of clear intention and worthiness. Your whole body will rejoice in the fact that it belongs to you.
Imagine how much freedom you create, when you no longer are in conflict with yourself, the amount of creative power you will have! Imagine the deep sense of presence you will inspire by letting go of others' approval, and by saying NO when needed, as well as saying yes when it feels right.
Integrity is the fabric of You. It goes by many names as we try to define it. I recently gave a talk on the "Anatomy of Integrity" in Stockholm. After the lecture, many from the audience came up to me revealing their struggles with their own integrity and sharing moments of clarity. One women put it so beautifully, "thank you" she said, "thank you for reminding me that I have a backbone, now I feel more aligned, I feel stronger."
Embody who you want to be, and honor her.