We are in integrity.
Our life choices and decisions – at work, at home, at play and in relationship, have a “felt-sense” of being true, honest and sincere.
We have a “knowing” that our thinking, feeling, be-ing and do-ing come from a place that is honest, sincere and self-responsible.
When we lack congruity between what we think, feel, say and do, we often experience a mental, emotional, spiritual and even, sometimes, a physical sense of imbalance, disconnect or dizziness. How could we not?
The ground of our being, the foundation of who we are and how we are is built on the degree of honesty in our expression – our thoughts, feelings, speech and actions. This foundation can begin to deteriorate when integrity – the concrete of the foundation – contains too much water, or too little sand or unwanted impurities. The result is our living life feeling confused, unsure, powerless – often feeling like a fake or phony.
“Honor your integrity and you will be repaid many times over with increased prosperity.” – Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer
The way we honor our integrity is to first be clear and conscious of the values that matter most – our core values – those that reside in our heart. Secondly, we are in integrity when we live these values – holding them, speaking them and being them.
“The first and worst of all frauds is to cheat one’s self.” – Phillip James Bailey
When we lack alignment or congruence between what we think, feel, say or do, most often we are living a life of self-deception – hiding from our True, Real and Authentic Self. We are a fraud. We spend much of our life telling ourselves, and others, “stories.” We rationalize, justify and argue in feeble attempts to be comfortable with our deception, our excuses, our “faux” self.
When we scan various areas of our life – career and livelihood, personal environment and organization, health and wellness, abundance and finances, play and recreation, intimacy and partnership, friends and family, and spiritual and personal growth – where are we in integrity and where are we out of integrity? Where are we forthright and honest and where are we dishonest, deceptive and cheating – our self and others? Where are we true to our word, our trustworthiness, our commitments and promises? Where are we taking a “left turn?”
Staying with the energy of integrity
When we are in integrity, we experience an energy, the “felt-sense” of “right knowing,” “right understanding” and “right action.” We experience a sense a strength, courage, steadfastness, discipline, inspiration, intuitiveness and will that arises from deep within. We are able to ward off thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, premises and impulses that would otherwise knock us off our game.
The way we stay in integrity is by being conscious – continually, throughout our day, asking, “What am I doing right here and right now…and why?” We’re consistently looking at our motives? Am I angry, afraid, fearful, resentful, jealous, overwhelmed, confused, etc?
Am I feeling connected with others. Am I being selfish? The question leads to motives. Motives come from values. So, an opportunity to explore what’s going on with me in this moment, and this moment, and this moment…and, why. This practice is a wonderful way to become more conscious of our fundamental motives and whether our motives truly serve us well and support our being in integrity.
“The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.”– Oliver Wendell Holmes
The core value of integrity is Purpose-related.
Purpose points to why we’re on the planet. Many folks, if they’re being honest, will admit much of their activity lacks Purpose. When we lack Purpose, there’s no “center that holds.” Many folks can tell you what they’re doing in various life areas, but are hard-pressed to tell you why – they lack deeper, heart-driven intentionality or motives. Without Purpose-driven core values informing our thinking, feeling, speaking and action, we’re more than not experiencing imbalance and dis-harmony in our life – an experience that keeps us from being in integrity.
Character is most determined by integrity. Character is how we are when no one is watching. When we are out of integrity, we are dishonest and our dishonesty becomes the thread that runs through our dealing and associations – at work, at home, at play and in relationship. It’s hard for us to be trusted when we’re out of integrity.
So, when you turn off the lights tonight and tuck yourself in, are you at peace and in integrity with yourself?
So, some questions for self-reflection are:
· Are there choices and decisions you need to make that could take you out of integrity?
· Do you use the same definition to define integrity for yourself as for others? If not, why not? Do you consistently walk your talk? Would others – at work, at home and at play – agree with you?
· Do your life choices and decisions support you to hold yourself in high regard?
· Do you feel integrity is a robe you can put on and take off when convenient?
· What stops you from acting in integrity?
· When you’re not acting with integrity, what kind of self-talk do you engage in?
Do your needs for control, recognition and security stop you from acting with integrity?
Does it matter if you’re not acting with integrity?
Do you ever excuse, justify or rationalize acting without integrity? If so, when and why?
· On an integrity scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high), how would you rate yourself when it comes to the following behaviours: gossiping, bullying, viewing or downloading porn, stealing physical materials, stealing intellectual property, stealing time, telling the truth, making excuses, being direct, open and honest in your communications, respecting others, obeying rules and regulations, and being faithful?
Peter Vajda | http://www.spiritheart.net
Nothing however, is as effective as venturing into a long term committed relationship. It is only within the realm of this dance that our buttons are pushed in such an exquisite and unmistakable manner reminding us of our unresolved psychological baggage.
The healing of this baggage allows our ego to get over itself, which in turn offers us more consciousness, clarity, and wisdom. This offers us the availability to be in our truth, walk our path with integrity and come from the witness perspective.
As spiritualists, we know that the perspective of the witness is like Shakespeares’ quote, “All the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players.” We want to witness our own play, but from the perspective of the audience. This can only be accomplished if we do our inner child work. Thus being in an intimate, committed relationship is a good vehicle for this.
Seeing ourselves more clearly commences when we first meet someone we are particularly interested in. The conscious reasons are evident and show up first. Some of these conscious factors are physical attraction, chemistry and synergy, and as time goes by similarities regarding values, quality of life, goals, etc.
However, the subconscious attractions which are apart of this normal process of attraction also exist. This subconscious perspective focuses on the fact that further down the road, after the honeymoon is over (three to six months) we find that this person has an uncanny ability to poke our buttons (these buttons originate from our family of origin and speak to the issues of the psychobabble tag of “the inner child.” This buttons surpass the adult and go right to the place where reason and maturity fail to hang out. It is the place where once pushed we are at the mercy of our emotional acting out child.
From this perspective we act and say things that we don’t really mean, thus having to do major damage control to put our relationship back in order). Now, when we are still in the honey moon phase and possibly for some time after that, we are prone to ignore some of these emotional jabs or deny that they were of consequence. This is where the old cliche comes in, “that love is blind.” You hold onto the hope that what just happened was not that big a deal and that the bigger picture combined with what you know about this person is more important. Hence you continue on with the relationship discussing what has occurred hoping to contain the upset.
Once we decide that there are more positives in the relationship than negatives, we step up and commit to one another. Once our psyche realizes that we are crossing the threshold of intimacy and commitment, we unknowingly open up our subconscious Pandoras’ box of expectation and entitlement.
It is at this point that we begin to realize that this person who we love and who says loves us has the ability to bring out some of our worst features. Though this is normal and occurs in every serious relationship, we are not pleased by the results, nor do we want to experience the pain and craziness that gets manifested.
However, it is the exact job of our spouses subconscious to bring forth these issues so we can see what it is that we still need to work on. I often say to my patients, that if we were in a higher state of Buddhist mind, we would thank our spouse or partner for making us so crazy, while helping us to realize what we have not yet healed in ourselves.
Now of course, this is an ideal and most of us live in the mundane world of reactive human beings. Therefore, we knee jerk first and offer apologies and insights later. This is understandable, however the point is still germane, we are here to do our work and any vehicle is a good one. Therefore, the balance between having our reactions coupled with post traumatic insights, while gaining wisdom is the key.
How you react gives you a great deal of information as to what is still in need of healing. Remember, your spouse or partner will poke your buttons, but no one can make you feel something. Therefore, how you choose to respond is on you. Thus you must be accountable and apologize to the other person and to your self for your reactions, and then do your work to heal them.
As spiritualists we know that as we heal our psychological baggage and become more conscious, more whole, we can embrace our higher selves. From this embrace, we are more empowered and able to be the the witness who can learn his/her lessons without having to be part of the play.
~ Gary Richman | http://drgaryrichman.com
“I didn’t tell my wife I was unhappy because I didn’t want to hurt her.” “I haven’t told my children I’m sick because I don’t want them to worry.” “I can’t tell my boyfriend I want to see other people because he’d be upset.”
In other words: “I can’t tell you the truth because I don’t want to hurt you . . .”
You have probably used this reasoning yourself, as justification for not speaking your truth. I know I have.
The irony is that in trying to “protect you” by not speaking my truth, I am lying to you. This causes enormous damage, not only to me, but to those I love, the very people I am trying to “protect”.
I first saw this with stunning clarity after my marriage ended. I realized (with the help of a good coach) that I had spent years withholding from my husband just how unhappy I was, because “I didn’t want to hurt him”. This withholding eventually led to the chain of events that ended our marriage. And of course, he was deeply hurt, despite my attempts to “protect him”. The truth will out eventually.
So I know first-hand the devastation that is caused when we don’t speak our truth out of fear of hurting or angering someone. The intention is good, perhaps, but it is based on an incorrect premise: That I am responsible for how you feel.
Our feelings are determined by our thoughts. Feelings are not “caused” by something outside of me.You don’t “make” me angry – I get angry based on my thoughts about what you’ve said or done.
A simple example:
Your ex is late (again) to pick up the kids. How do you react? With anger? (How can he be so inconsiderate of my time?) With worry?(I wonder if something awful has happened!) Or perhaps with pleasure? (This gives me a few more minutes with the kids). One action, three different responses, based on your interpretation of the event.
You are not responsible for my feelings. And am I not responsible for yours.
In his book NonViolent Communication, Marshall Rosenberg calls this confusion emotional slavery, where I think I’m responsible for your feelings, and I hold you responsible for mine. The path to emotional freedom, he says, is to remember whose feelings I AM responsible for – my own. I am responsible for generating them (by the thoughts that I think), understanding them, and learning from them.
The mistaken belief that I am responsible for your feelings (and you for mine) destroys my authentic self-expression and my sense of personal power. It makes me a “victim” of your actions. It keeps the truth hidden and stops the flow of Life. Out of fear of “hurting” you, I pretend that things are different than they really are. And you do the same with me. We are all lying to each other, out of a false belief that we are protecting one another from pain.
This I know:
When I withhold my voice, my truth, I betray myself. And when I betray myself, I betray you. So, the only way I can “hurt” you is by not being true to myself.
One last piece:
The other day, my lover admitted that he had kept something from me, because he thought it might upset me. This is my response: If I become upset by your truth… so what? I’m a big girl. I can handle a little upset. (Can you?) Don’t patronize me by “protecting” me from your truth. Give me the truth, and allow me my reaction. Let me make the best decisions for me, based on your truth for you. That is real love: honoring me enough to tell me the truth. Having the courage to face my reaction. Not “protecting me” with withholds.
The truth allows the future to unfold as it is meant to unfold. My mentor used to say: “The truth WILL set you free, but first it will piss you off.” Allow your loved ones room for their emotions in response to your truth.
Be true to yourself, true to your loved ones, and true to the unfolding of Life.
~ Renee Cooper | http://www.OneJourneyConsulting.com
Today I would like to discuss a significant obstacle in our search for truth and personal development that is so effectively ignored and simultaneously encouraged that we have virtually lost any significant chance of success.
As we already know, in the search for the reality of our Being and its cultivation to higher levels of development, we must first eliminate all our illusions.
We live in our opinions and subjective views which leads us into negative emotions. Negative emotions are the main cause of loss of energy and wasting life and must be eliminated in order to progress to higher levels. That is another subject, but for now a foundation principle for today’s talk.
Our goal is to obtain an objective view of all things. For example, it is impossible to truly understand another person and still disagree with them. Either we understand or we do not. If we understand that person, be they right or wrong, we must agree, because we truly understand them. To say that we understand but disagree means we do not understand them or even what understanding means.
To understand is to know exactly what the other person sees or believes. If we can see that, then we will truly understand them because we are talking about the exact same thing, and therefore we must agree. If I say that the music is so terrible it gives me a headache, you may say you understand but disagree because you like that music. This means you do not understand me at all since it does not give you a headache. If you felt the same sensations as I do, then you would understand. Until that happens, you can only imagine that you understand, and lie to yourself thinking that you do understand. This is one example of how we do not even know the meaning of the simplest words in our language and live in imagination rather than reality.
It may not be realistic or true, but if you truly understand me, you will see and feel the same sensations and so you must agree. Understanding means seeing the same thing and thus the reality of the subject as it is being discussed.
Our lives are built upon false images. It all starts when we are fed this desire as children, and our lives are turned away from reality and into fantasy through no fault of our own. Once that aspiration for living a fantasy life has begun, it gets ingrained into our being and the images of desire change, but we still aspire to be something we cannot be. And so we live a life entirely lost in chasing an illusion.
Young children are fed stories of super-heroes. We tell them the stories at bedtime, buy them toys and costumes so they can pretend to be their heroes. Life as a child is all make-believe and pretend, which is a good quality that nature has given us, however that creative nature is fed with the wrong material to work with. Pre-formed images of super-heroes flying through the sky, running faster that a bullet, stopping a speeding train and so on limit our creativity by giving it an impossible image.
Our natural creative nature is blocked from developing because instead of the child being forced to create their own ideas, they are fed with pre-packaged ideas and then encouraged to allow their creativity to express itself through the image of that character rather than its natural unlimited potential. We are speaking now of generalities, exceptions will discussed in a moment.
Our creative capacity lies in an aspect of our being, referring to the different centers we discussed in other lectures, the intellectual aspect of the emotional centre. In this talk, it is not necessary to go into the detail about the centers and their aspects other than this one.
Emotions are the source of our creative energy. But energy alone without direction and focus is merely dispersed without achieving any tangible results. The intellectual aspect of the emotional centre gives a direction and focus for the creative energy. It is the driver of the car.
If we are fed with pretending to be Superman or Wonder Woman, then we will use our intellect which has learnt the traits and abilities of these storybook people and feed that data to our emotional centre which will then give us the feeling of being those characters. This will be very fulfilling since the essential nature of a human being is to create and now we are creating, sadly though, a false image of ourself.
If an adult took on such a false image and believed it as strongly as some children do, they are normally committed to an insane asylum.
Such is the power of the emotional centre to believe so strongly and dangerous when fed wrong information to work with.
The exceptions are those few individuals in history who did not absorb or get exposed to fairy tales as children or for some other reason delved deep into the mysteries of life, or of how a musical instrument or paint is used for example. They used the power of their emotional centre to fuel them with its intellectual aspect to learn the technical attributes, or scientifically study why a plant is green for example. The emotional centre, which is the source of intuition and creativity mixed in the material knowledge and discovered chlorophyl, or penicillin, or how to make the most beautiful music or paint the Mona Lisa.
All creativity is from the emotional centre but must be guided and given a direction from its intellectual aspect. The reason is quite simple. The intellectual aspect requires will power and mental effort, focus, to function. The intellectual aspect gives a focused direction for the creative and intuitive energy of the emotional centre towards the subject that it is focused on. This combination is the alchemical mixture that turns lead to gold, or in more accurate terms, a lump of human animal into a creative genius.
But this is lost in the world of pretend which we are fed and trained into living in our early days. Now the problem is that although as an adult we feel we are beyond pretending to be a super-hero, we still are lying to ourselves and living a life of pretend.
Our teenage adolescent years are spent lost in this imaginary world, however we change from thinking we can fly to imitating the movie and music stars of the times. Then the concept of image and looks takes its hold, again supported by the marketing and famous people.
In this world as a woman you are forced into using makeup, fancy hair styles and sexy cloths, all very attractive to men. Men also have to work on themselves with the right cloths, hair style and building up their muscles. Even though we all know that when the makeup is washed off the reality is something quite different, men still chase after the image, colour and glamour of a well made up woman. Hence that makes women live in this pretend life spending large amounts of money and time in preparing to go outside to attract a suitable man.
But still the makeup sells, men desire falseness and women live to be false, so what can we expect if our most basic need of life, love and companionship is based on a false image.
And so we progress through life from one stage to the next, perpetually trying to be something we are not. Even as adults, we desire and dream of being like that famous person we hear about. Either in sports or musical abilities or great wealth and a master of business. As you see, we are filled with desires to be someone else, do what another person can do, but ignore that we simply cannot.
There are an infinite number of reasons why we cannot be like the hero we admire, and each case is individual so impossible to list, but it is not hard to find if we take an objective realistic view. Certainly we can improve ourselves, increase our skills, perhaps even to a very high level, but the point is if we are trying to make ourselves into the best we can be are we taking into account our current state of being.
What are the realistic possibilities of the level we can improve to or are we just trying to be like that movie star overnight. I may want to be taller, but that is simply not possible.
As long as we live our life in self-lying by denying that we are virtually fully focused on desiring to be like someone else, even if that is Buddha, Christ, or any other mythical personality, when we do not even have any proof that they existed other than books which were written hundreds of years after those people supposedly lived, then how can we ever expect to attain knowledge of our Self.
Even the living people of our times who we aspire to be like are only images to us. One student said that he aspires to be like Bill Gates. I asked what does he know about Mr. Gates other than the man owns a large block of shares in Microsoft and is very wealthy. Is there anything else that you know for a fact? Do you know if Mr. Gates suffers from severe constipation? We do not know much about the inner lives of these people, do they sleep well at night? Yet we aspire to be like them, and give up our soul in that pursuit.
Yes indeed we have sold our soul, given up our chance to find God if that is our aspiration, by idolizing and desiring to be like another person, living a life of make-believe. If we do not work to become one and only one person, our own self, then we have nothing.
Start with honest self observation and write down on paper your discoveries of each time you have a thought or desire to be like someone else. Begin to accept the reality of your being as you are and take yourself as a block of wood to a carpenter, or stone to a mason, or a canvas that already has a painting on it to a painter. Looking at what you are at this moment, skills, knowledge, abilities, what can you make of yourself.
The mason will not make a statue out of the canvas, nor the carpenter make a boat out of the stone and burn the cuttings. However the mason can cover his work in progress, or his food while he stirs up dust and the carpenter can have a good anchor for his boat.
There is nothing greater or higher that a person can achieve in this life than to be themselves. But first we must stop trying to be someone else and look at who we are, our skills and abilities, then cultivate that as best we can. Planting corn seeds will not yield a cherry tree.
In this way, we will attain a balanced and peaceful inner life, a successful wordily life, and perhaps raise the spiritual and evolutionary level of our Being.
David Samuel | http://EntrepreneurMonk.com
Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge.
You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.
And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.
Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.”
Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.”
For the soul walks upon all paths.
The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself like a lotus of countless petals.
~ Kahlil Gibran
We know that greed and selfish ambition has always been a strong motive that impels people to lie. Another factor behind lying is fear; we fear the consequences of what others may think if the truth is told.
For myself, I guess the latter made sense to me. I wasn’t trying to intentionally deceive another, but rather I feared losing the other person from the way the truth was dressed. I never was doing anything “wrong”, but because he was so controlling, nothing that I ever did was really “right” in his eyes, at least that’s what he made me to believe.
I tried hard to please him, so by me NOT telling him that I was going to hang out with girl friends, innocent fun; or me NOT telling him that I had been violated, would avoid his anger and rage with me. Again, as I look back, the things that I was doing were not wrong, or out of the ordinary, but I knew that he not being able to control my every movement would just cause him to be unhappy with me and not look at me the same. So I just tried to avoid telling him details. I wanted to be good enough, I wanted him to know that I am what you want me to be. I am the “good girl”.
It always ended up me telling him where I went, what I did. Again I never did anything wrong, it never involved another man, or anything of that sort. He would call me untrustworthy, I would feel like I had to prove that I wasn’t, I ended up hurting and so starts the entire cycle all over again and again. What a pattern of thinking!
It’s amazing how I look back at this routine and I see the real lies and the real deceit were in him. He was the one deliberately lying to me. He was the one entangled with multiple women, in multiple relationships. Deep down you know the truth, but you don’t want to believe it. You’ve made him your “all” for so long that you convince yourself to believe all the lies that he tells. Initially, as the lies come to head, your hurt, it pains. Remember the saying short term pain for long term gain.
When you snap back into reality, and realize you’re better than all the lies you’ve accepted, all the affairs you’ve accepted, you see the truth for what it is. He’s deceived no one but himself, and you’ve been deceived by no one but yourself. You ARE the good girl, too good of a girl to accept his treatment, his abuse, or anyone’s abuse. The reality that I have come to accept is that no matter how truthful I was to him, no matter how straight forward I was, he would have never been happy or satisfied, because of his own insecurities within himself.
So me learning to be truthful to myself, not allowing “me” to deceive “me”; you see the entire relationship, your life, your love, your happiness, for what it really is. You are in control of you. You don’t make his problems and his insecurities yours. You realize that you don’t need, nor truthfully speaking, do you want a relationship full of lies and deceit. I say truthful speaking because sometimes you’ve deceived yourself into believing that he is the man you want and need. What happiness comes from lies and deception? Someone always hurts in the end.
Be truthful with yourself, be truthful about your relationship, your happiness and truth begins with you.
~ Arja Langdon | http://www.comtreeconsulting.com