“Each time a man stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples can build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” (Robert F. Kennedy)
In light of the New Year and the change that will come through a new election, I believe it is more important than ever for all of us to embrace integrity and our soul’s path at all times.
All of us are born whole. On our journey toward adulthood, our wholeness gradually erodes, flaking away in the course of daily living. Erosion begins in our family system. In that weather, however gentle or harsh, we learn what and whom to value, what is safe and what is too risky, what is rewarded and what is reprimanded. We often become so keenly adept at adopting the agendas set by others, we lose track of our own agenda, our own inner compass, our own North Star.
Lincoln, who our new president is oft-compared to, was above all a man of deep integrity. Lincoln’s challenge to hold together a nation in jeopardy of being torn asunder mirrors our challenge at an individual level. Though absolutely different in intensity and scale, Lincoln confronted the same threshold that all of us face at the personal level, which is to live undivided, intact, whole.
In its most common usage, integrity means to be honest, with yourself and others. Being honest means that you speak your truth by saying what is so, or true, for you. Not only does this mean you will say what is true, but you must also be what is true for you. True in the sense of being aligned with your inner spiritual compass. When you are true to your inner compass, this dimension of integrity is an ally that keeps you on track with your calling.
Being honest also means you stand up for what you believe, as Lincoln did, even though it might be unpopular to do so. Honesty is the aspect of integrity that says, “I am true to myself. I am loyal to what I believe. These are my values. Here’s where I stand, what I stand for, and whom I stand with.”
Integrity gives us the opportunity to be congruent in what we say and what we do. When we stand and walk with integrity our actions match what we say and believe and value. This was certainly true for Lincoln and there is much hope that our new president will lead us in the same direction.
The key is to live a congruent life with one’s integrity and unique values intact. If we dare to wear our soul on the outside at all times, then our soul is reflected faithfully to better ourselves and those around us.
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