Sunday, September 20, 2020

September 20--Personal Integrity

Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. 
--Mahatma Gandhi 

    For me, this is the definition of personal integrity. Other ways of saying this are phrases such as:

My insides match my outsides.
What you see is what you get.
Walk the walk, don't just talk the talk. 

    My insides match my outsides. I don't wear masks or pretend to be someone or something I'm not. I'm honest with myself and others. I live my personal values. If I'm sad, it shows. If I'm happy, it shows. I don't try to hide behind any facades. 
    What you see is what you get. This is me, and I'm fine with that. I don't change my behavior to attempt to keep you happy. I don't need to justify myself, and I won't apologize for my existence (I could write volumes on that one). I don't need to people-please. To quote author Tama Kieves: "Those who get me, get me." 
    Walk the walk, don't just talk the talk. Anyone can talk a good line, but do they actually practice their talk? This is where the "deed" part of Gandhi's quote comes in. I've been in a 12-Step program for decades and have seen, unfortunately, too many incidents of plenty of talk, then walking away because the person wasn't able to live their talk. It takes a lot of integrity. I grew up surrounded by addicts, people not known for personal integrity, so I am forever grateful to the 12-Step program for teaching me that very important personal foundation for living well. 
    All of these phrases, including Gandhi's quote, can be summed up as "comfortable in my own skin" or "content with who I am." And this one, from the 12-Steps: "when we live well, we are well." What an excellent promise!
    Best day yet, 

No comments:

Post a Comment