Love cannot live where there is no trust. Edith Hamilton You build trust with others each time you choose integrity over ego,
truth over convenience, and honor over embarrassment.
Integrity is more than choosing not to lie. Integrity is the value you and others place on your word. It is YOURS and yours alone to determine. Integrity asks "Are you who you say you are, and do you do what you say you will do, by when you say you will do it.
Integrity is the ability to recognize, and accept responsibility for, each choice and action where you have failed yourself and the value of your word. Then go forward with a renewed dedication to act in accordance with the identity you choose, built from the foundation of your deepest values. As human beings we will never attain perfection, but with each failure, YOU can choose to collect yourself quickly and renew your commitment to yourself, to those you love, and to the act of always increasing the value of your word.
WE are not swans. Swans mate for life. It is what swans do. It is their nature, their identity. It goes with being a swan. Human beings are different than swans because we actually have the power to consciously choose our nature, our values, our identities. It is because of integrity, because of promises that people mean to keep, that many people choose their mates for life. They commit and making a promise of love and dedication and then they keep their word.
Integrity is saying or speaking who you are. Fill in the blank. “I AM __________________”.
I am a faithful spouse.
I am a kind and compassionate person.
I am honest and forthright.
I am intelligent and use my brain when making decisions.
I am a devoted friend, parent and sibling.
I am a person who gets things done.
The challenge is not in the speaking the words that fill in the blank after I am _______. Statements and proclamations are easy to make. But words are only as valuable as the integrity of those who speak them. The challenge comes in living the statements we make as the truth of who we are. Integrity is all about the value and quality of the words you speak, and you are the one that sets that value by your actions, choices and behaviors.
We cannot control or change our past. We have all missed the mark when it comes to our integrity. We also cannot control the external circumstances in our future, and we certainly cannot control how other people will behave and the choices they will make. BUT, we do have complete control over one thing:
Who we choose to be. Who we say we are; what we have chosen as our identity.
Our identity is much more than our name, where we live, or what we do professionally. It is how we see the world, our willingness to hold ourselves accountable to our highest standards, and our dedication to being the people we most want to be in relationship to other people we encounter in our lives.
What is your named and claimed identity? By that I mean what do you stand for? What are your values around integrity, honesty and commitment?
What do you care most about?
What will you not allow yourself to do under any circumstances?
Who do you speak yourself to be and what actions do you take to prove it?
In what ways do you feel you live congruent with your integrity?
Are their areas of your life that you feel you live out of integrity? If so, what are they?
These are some of the most important questions you will ever answer.
Listen to how you answered these questions in your head. Are you successful at living those values your stand for in integrity? Most of us fall short, but that should never stop us from continuing to do all we can to meet our own high standards.
Do you believe that your partner’s values and ideas around the meaning of integrity and commitment are similar to yours? If so, in what ways? If not, how do you believe they differ from yours? Do you find yourself admiring your partner for the values they live, or do you find that you resent them for failing to be who they tell everyone they want to be?
Do you do what you say you will do, by when you say you will do it? When you live in integrity, your actions, your thoughts, your behaviors and your choices are in alignment with your word. Integrity means you are living a life that is whole and complete, as well as, congruent with your values.
Personality expert Dawn Billings is the founder of RelationshipHelp.com, and the author of the ONLINE relationship programs, Relationship Help At Home, and executive director of the luxury resort Relationship Help Resort located in Arizona where Dawn hosts private couples therapy intensives.