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What is Integrity?
This is a relatively new concept to me. It has only been actively in my consciousness for the past 5-6 years although I have heard this word for years. Most everyone has heard the word but most people are at a loss for what integrity is, let alone how to incorporate it into every aspect of their lives.
This is what I found in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary as a definition:
Definition of INTEGRITY
So integrity means: incorruptibility, soundness and completeness. How much you can be trusted by others and how much you trust yourself is a good measuring stick of your integrity. If you are complete in your trustworthiness, sound in your word and incorruptible in your actions, you have integrity.
When I think of an example of integrity, especially incorruptibility, I think of Ned Flanders from the Simpsons. He comes pretty close to completeness in integrity. He follows his inner truth no matter what, even if it completely annoys all the people around him. (Of course it only annoys them because they don't live their integrity!) What I find great is that he only answers to God for his actions and is completely happy knowing that he always does the right thing, no matter what. He is oblivious to what people think of him, he simply does not care. He lives in what I call "The Integrity Zone" (tm).
When I think of a lack of integrity, I am reminded of a Roseanne episode where she is trying to make ends meet and while paying bills, she tells her husband to put the check for the water bill in the electricity bill and vice versa and send the phone bill without a check in it but don't seal it, they will think it just fell out. "This will buy us another month," she tells him. This, while seemingly clever, is really out of integrity. It is dishonest and therefore wrong because it is out of alignment with her Higher Truth. While it was only meant to be funny (and perhaps a rebellious guide for the working poor), it is an example of how many or even most Americans in general have been raised; without integrity.
Integrity is important in every aspect of your life. In your personal life, with all your relationships, with your version of Higher Self/Spirit/God/Universe and with yourself. Integrity is especially important in business, with your clients and also your employees. This is how you build trust, which is the backbone to all relationships in our lives: with each other at home, in business and with God/The Universe/The Great Spirit (or however you believe).
Integrity is how you live your life with complete honesty, truth and in complete alignment with your Higher, most perfect, Self. It IS a tall order to fill, and no one lives with 100% integrity, but striving towards this as a goal is a worthwhile use of your time here on this planet. If you could live your life as if you are always in front of an audience who sees your every move, would you still be doing what you are doing when you are alone? Obviously I am not talking about more personal things like showering or sexuality, but rather, the more mundane things.
Here are some simple questions to help you understand what integrity is:
Do you pray in church on Sunday, but take God's name in vain Monday through Friday?
Do you meditate to have a closer walk with the Universal Spirit or trying to achieve Nirvana and connecting with Universal Peace, and yet yell at your children for interrupting your meditation?
Do you treat your clients at your work with respect and compassion but then while driving home, you are screaming at random people on the freeway if they don't drive the way you like?
T. Harv Eker has a saying, "How you do anything is how you do everything." This is important to realize. If you are wiling to tell a little white lie, you are also willing, or will be eventually, to tell a whopper of a lie. If you are willing to cheat a little on your taxes, how far are you, really, from cheating on your wife or husband? This sounds extreme maybe but are you capable of any behavior that you personally question or anything that makes you feel a little uncomfortable emotionally?
Anything that makes you cringe at your own behaviour or keeps you awake at night, worried about how you feel or how this looked to others will point to a lacking in the integrity department.
You may need to do a little cleanup.
Mermaid Girl (Author of this blog)
Spiritual House Cleaning
If you are not living with complete integrity in your personal or business life, you will need to start as soon as possible.
How can you expect the Universe to give you everything you need and desire if you are not being 100% completely honest with yourself, let alone others? How can the Universe trust you with any kind of responsibility if you cannot trust yourself, or others cannot trust you? Learn to operate in a way that you can be trusted and that you can trust yourself.
Again, I would like to stress that nobody is perfect and no one lives in perfect completeness and integrity, but this is so important that it should be a top priority for you. So working towards reaching this worthy goal is our focus here.
Here is a little exercise in retraining your brain to live in integrity: Wear a rubber band around your wrist and every time you find yourself not living in integrity with your Higher Self, your Higher Vision for your life and your Higher Purpose, snap it HARD! Yes you will hurt and you might even leave a mark or bleed. But after a week of this, do you think you will have more integrity?
You may want to work on each of the following separately, such as one category per week. change wrists often if you must!
1. Internal integrity. You are a wonderful amazing person. You deserve to know this and believe it. God created you in His image. Are you doubting this and in fact, talking negative about yourself? Every time you say "I AM" and follow it up with something negative, snap that rubber band! Then immediately replace it with something positive. "I AM worthy." "I AM a person of integrity." "I AM powerful and strong." "I AM capable of amazing things in this life." Even if you have lived out of integrity (we all have!) you need to forgive yourself, stop beating up on yourself, move on and start over! Every day is a new day to begin a new life. And always, always, always, do what you say you are going to do, even if it is a promise to yourself. Keep your promises to yourself at all times. If you say you are going to exercise and it is raining outside, do 20 push ups instead. Keep those promises! Learn to trust yourself!
2. Relationship Integrity. Every time you find yourself judging other people for the way they look or how they act, snap your wrist! You have no right to judge others, period. Replace those negative thoughts with "This person is a child of God, like me, and they are doing their best in this world, like me." You don't have to spend time with people who don't have your best interests at heart or who simply annoy you, but you also don't need to spend your time in any form of mental negativity. This does not make you richer in any area of your life and it does not serve you or them. so snap your wrist, change your mind, and just let it go! Also, every time you find yourself saying you will take out the trash or wash the dishes and you DON'T do it, you need to snap your wrist twice. Lying to people you live with about the easiest things to do is seriously wrong. You can prevent fights and bad feelings by simply giving your word and living up to it. Trust is everything in a relationship. It can take years to build up trust and 10 minutes to destroy it.
3. Action integrity. Do you find yourself cheating a little here or a little there? Maybe stealing a little? This sounds weird maybe at first, but really look at yourself. Do you report ALL of your earnings to the government? Do you render unto Caesar what is Caesars? (ie the right amount of taxes?) Do you steal pens or office supplies from work? If a clerk makes an error in your favor and gives you more money in your bank account, do you point out the mistake? If your child walks out of the grocery store with a toy in his or her hand, do you take it back and pay for it or just call it a bonus and go home? Or how about this one: do you eat grapes at the grocery store and not buy the bunch? Or a jelly belly or two out of the bin? This sounds nit-picky but what if everyone did that? This is stealing. This is out of integrity. You have to show the Universe that you are worthy of receiving more before you can receive more. So every time you do something that gives you a little cringe in your gut, snap your wrist!
4. Business Integrity. Are you conducting business in a way that you are paying your employees exactly what they earned, and not finding ways to cheat them out of wages? Are you giving your clients what they pay for and even a bit more? If you honor your employees as if they are your own children and help them to feel worthwhile and valuable to be helping you in your business, you will do very well in business and in life. If you are billing your clients with 100% honesty and also giving them bonuses on top of what they pay for, then your rewards and good karma will be great! If you are not doing these things, please, snap your wrist! If you are talking bad about your customers, or worse yet, complaining about them, snap your wrist! Have you ever been stressed in the middle of rush hour and said "I hate rush hour, it is so stressful! Why do so many people have to come at once?" Snap your wrist! You are in business to make money, do not ever complain about your paying customers! They are the main reason you are in business. If you complain, you are out of integrity with your purpose! Also, and here is perhaps the biggest area of integrity business people need to work on: always be on time for meetings and never ever miss a meeting unless you are dying or dead. Period. This is the biggest way to undermine your business, yourself and your integrity. If you are 2 minutes late, you have already lost integrity in the mind of your client. Be early, do everything in your power to show that other people's time is important too. This honor and integrity you show by being on time will increase your business by increasing the level of trust present in the working relationship.
It is my great hope that this has helped you and that you can learn to move towards living your integrity in every area of your life. You will be happier, healthier, smile bigger, feel better and sleep better at night once you are living the way your Higher Self wishes. I trust you will.
Good blessings to you and yours!