“Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.” Barbara De Angelis
From the root word integrate. Webster’s Dictionary second and third definitions: the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished; sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition
Acting with consistency is at the root of living with integrity. Aligning one’s actions with one’s thoughts a simple concept, execution difficult. A life reflecting inner integrity is one that is whole and has quieted the inner struggle. To have a clear map and a strong compass replaces fear and anxiety with calm and sureness.
It is human habit to hold back our honest selves with the mistaken assumption that it makes one more likeable or that we are somehow protecting others by not revealing ourselves in our actions. This crisis of identity is in direct opposition to the wholeness needed for happiness. Contentment requires a true representation of the self; to have each part of ourselves working in unison for one’s best interest.
Speaking and acting one’s truth and accepting the consequence when it includes tension or conflict with another is where the difficulty lies. And yet, which is the more damaging; to be in conflict with another person, or to be in internal conflict? No matter who the other person might be, one can exist without them; not so for the self. As always the resolution lies within. And once whole, the inner world aligned with the outer; the resource of calm, steady, clear thought becomes available to express ourselves. The tensions with others can be eased somewhat with our clarity and sense of purpose.
The clarity and sense of purpose then help us clear the clutter of our outer world. Viewing all aspects of living through the lens of personal truth, belief in our personal value;our expectations of others the same as we demand of ourselves, affords the opportunity to resolve or remove harmful relationships and habits. This is the hard work of happiness.
All of the externals that we use to help us create our happiness are additions to the primary goal; whether it is exercising more, being more organized or tidy, or losing weight. But unless one chooses to exercise the mind, organize one’s thoughts around their personal truths and lose the unhealthy relationships and habits; the changes are superficial and the gains easily lost. Drilling down into the core of oneself and coming out with a clear sense of values, truth and self-definition and then building on that foundation is the way to create happiness that is lasting and real. The fully integrated person is the content and satisfied soul.