Integrity...Do You Have It?

The word integrity isn't often used these days, or so it seems, but this past weekend I realized the proper use of the word was powerful and has changed my life in many ways. What is integrity?  According to, "integrity" means "adherence to moral or ethical principals" and/or "the state of being whole, entire or undiminished."  Did you ever realize how important your word was?  If you don't have integrity, you truly have nothing.  As I sat this weekend in The Landmark Forum, many of my beliefs were challenged.  What happened versus what our story is was an eye opener.  What's that, you ask?  Can you imagine that we created our whole life around a story or many stories that simply are not reality but a perception of what we thought was reality?  I know, you think I am talking in tongues, right?  The simple fact is we create stories around a simple truth of what was the actual event and these stories shape and create the person we end up dragging through life which holds us back to the greater possibilities.  For example, one thing that happened to me was at the age of 16, my parents divorced.  Simple, that is what happened.  My story I built around that was "my mom needs me to take care of things or she will fall apart," "this is how marriage works, if it doesn't work, why not just divorce," "my dad left and I don't understand why he would leave me"...get the idea?  Stories create a perception of what we are or are not, or how unworthy we may be, and many other self-defeating ideas that drag us down and prevent us from living life fully.  Once we get rid of our stories, guess what, we are actually free to live life and create possibilities.  How exciting would that be?  We are NOT our story is the basic message.  So, getting back to integrity, how does that play into this?  Our word is all we have, that is our integrity.  When you say you are going to do something, mean it.  Be authentic and straight forward.  We don't use integrity in many ways we would not even think about such as telling people what we think they want to hear instead of the truth or not being on time when people are counting on us to be on time.  When we say we are going to do something, then do it.  How can people take you for your word if you do not honor and keep your word?  I always thought I had a lot of integrity, but as this weekend pointed out to many of us in The Landmark Forum, even those of us with the best of intentions haven't been walking our talk.  For me, this plays out with tiptoeing around my feelings with certain family members instead of being honest with them because I am afraid how they will feel about what I said.  With my children it has played out by giving them second, third, and fourth chances instead of holding them accountable for their actions and their integrity.  In doing so, I am enabling them to manipulate a situation or to not understand the consequences when they do not keep their word.  So, today I invite you to look at the areas of your life that you are not walking in integrity and be conscience of your word and how it affects all areas of your life.  You will be amazed by the difference this makes.  An amazing book on the use of the "word" is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.  If everyone lived their lives by these four agreements, there would not be the need for the chaos and confusion.  We could actually experience peace.  What a concept!  “The Four Agreements - 1. Be impeccable with your word. 2. Don’t take anything personally. 3. Don’t make assumptions. 4. Always do your best. ”   Don Miguel Ruiz