Integrity and Self-love

Posted by on Jul 3, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Integrity and Self-love

Have you ever noticed that when you learn a new word you come across it everywhere: on buses, ads, radio or wherever?  

That word was probably always there, but you just didn’t see it because it wasn’t on your radar.

And even more so, when you commit to focussing on an area of your life or on a concept, that it comes up often at unexpected moments?     Often with whole new levels of insight, or indeed challenge.

Well, so it has been for me in building the next phase of my work around Integrity. 

It’s as though “integrity” is a backdrop against which my life is playing, as well as a foundation on which it wants to stand.


A living laboratory

When you start to chart your course by a principle or value, it can seem as if your whole life becomes a living laboratory.   

My life has become an integrity laboratory, and part of my commitment around that is only to write what resonates authentically for me.  What comes from the living experience of myself, someone I know or someone who has publicly told the story of their own growth.

It isn’t that I don’t value general discussion or philosophy.   It is because for me, at least, what matters is what works, what can be integrated into real life. What can be not just in my head but also in my heart and my life.    What can make a genuine contribution not just to myself but to those around me.


Letting go of the all-or-nothing

When trying to think of name for this next phase of my work and this site, lots of possibilities showed up.    But it kept coming back to integrity. 

Yet I knew that there are parts of me and my life which still aren’t in integrity.    

Maybe I wasn’t ready?     Maybe someone else could do it better?

Lots of self-doubt came up, plus a long-standing all-or-nothing attitude about “getting it right” before writing about anything.   Sometimes at school, if I got say, 95% in a test, I would be more concerned about where I lost the missing 5% than in being happy with the 95%.

My life experience has helped me to let go of most of that kind of thinking, but there was enough of it lurking somewhere to give me the willies (the jitters) at the idea of setting up a public website around integrity.

And last night, when wondering where to go in my next blog, some of the same old jitters came up (dare I say with a sprinkling of panic?).  

Wide awake, mind spinning.



Pieces coming together

Pieces coming together

Pieces coming together

A memory of other times when such jitters had a gift to teach me gave me enough courage to listen and feel out where these particular butterflies in my stomach were leading. 

First step was to step back, to create a nurturing space of a candlelit bath and feel out what this was all about.  

And it was in that nurturing space that some of the pieces come together more clearly.

For the last week I  had been getting a sense that a series of articles, videos etc. on self-love was essential to get the exploration of integrity off to a sound start.   

It has been my growing conviction that genuine self-love is absolutely essential to a mature level of integrity. 

My own process this last year has shown me that over and over.  



Impeccability and self-love

When I look at the areas where I am or am not in integrity, there is always a correlation with my depth of self-love.  But genuine self-love.   Not an inflated or a compensatory inflated false image.

In his book “The Four Agreements”, Don Miguel Ruiz says that you can measure your level of impeccability (integrity) by your level of self-love.

The kind of integrity that this site is about goes far beyond the moral aspects of honesty and uprightness.

Integrity  is about wholeness.  However, it isn’t about getting everything right all the time, about some lofty, and indeed discouraging, notion of perfection. 

As we grow and evolve, we may reach such a pure and transparent state of integrity. 

But from my experience so far, that is far more likely to happen if we start from where we are, accept and love ourselves in the here and now,  than if we measure ourselves from the off-putting yardstick of an idealized destination.


Journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step

Start where you are

Start where you are

For me, and for many teachers and writers I discovered in this last year’s wide-ranging research,  integrity is about being realistic and authentic about the wholeness of who we are, in this moment.  

The journey of integrity starts right where we are.

Self-love and self-esteem will thus be important themes in this site. 

However, there are so many layers of meaning around these concepts.

These terms mean different things to different people and thus can give rise to much confusion, judgement, ambiguity and misunderstanding.   In that context, I feel it will be worth devoting a few posts to looking at these themes.  

In upcoming blog posts, we’ll look at the distinctions between these various terms, and come to a common understanding of them for the purposes of this website’s vision.



Integrity as verb and noun

In one sense, integrity is a verb as much as a noun.  

Ultimately, it is something we are by the nature of our existence.

But it is also something we can embody and make real in our here-and-now, by our actions, attitudes and choices.  

By being willing to step into the water, to be authentic.   To stand in our power.  To live by our values.

To do this requires authentic self-love.  Not ego or narcissism, but a genuine love and acceptance of who we are.



Showing up

In the meantime, it is my wish for you, reading this, that you will find the courage to show up in the world “as you.”   Showing up as your authentic self is a gift not just to you, but to the people around you and ultimately the world.

And to answer my earlier question to myself, it isn’t about whether I am ready or not or if someone else could do it better. 

It’s acknowledging that if something calls us deeply within, there is a rightness in it, and the readiness develops as we jump in and get started. 

The readiness grows from simply showing up and doing what it takes!


“Don’t worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman


Forum and discussion

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