One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised. -Chinua Achebe
Living in our integrity is a wellness practice and good for our health! Integrity is when we are living in alignment with our deepest values and highest truths. Our integrity is expressed in how we interact with others, in the choices we make and the actions we take in our lives. It is about "walking the talk" and our behavior being in congruence with the voice of our highest knowing. Integrity is when we manifest our most authentic and best selves in how we show up for ourselves, for others, and for the world.
However, living with integrity does not mean we live as some perfect being. We are human so we are imperfect and in an ongoing process of development and evolution, personally and collectively. Living with integrity means that we hold ourselves accountable to a set of positive and life-enhancing values that reflect deep wisdom about life. The values that guide our integrity often have spiritual, cultural, and/or familial roots. They develop not only from what we are taught, but also from our own intentional engagement in an inner processing of our beliefs and life philosophy, or emerge from our spiritual journeys.
Establishing the ground of values upon which we stand is the first step. The clearer and more deeply rooted our values, the more we know where our inner "home" is. Practices to strengthen our integrity invite us to claim and reclaim, root and reroot in our values. Passage meditation (deep presence and reflection on a passage from a sacred text, poem, song lyric, or other wisdom source) is a recommended practice to support and strengthen integrity. The more frequently we connect with reminders and affirmations of our values, the more accessible they are in our daily lives. Our values are our anchor that keeps us from drifting too far from what matters most. They help us with what Chinua Achebe describes as that refusal to compromise our integrity. Living from our integrity is expressed in action. The more we do it, the more of a habit it becomes.
What practices are you doing to strengthen your integrity?
With Peace, Love, and Soulfulness,
Dr. Shelly Harrell