Integrity’s address

  1.  firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values

  2.  an unimpaired condition

  3.  the quality or state of being complete or undivided

If I look closely, it’s hard to see anyone living truly in integrity based upon those definitions. I remember my first day in an Intro to Philosophy class when the teacher asked, “What are your basic beliefs?” I thought, “That’s easy!” and then realized it wasn’t. It took me two years to answer that question because I went through all of my beliefs to determine if they were actually mine or adopted from family, culture, society, or religion. When I say I stripped them down, I stripped them completely naked, bare bones till the only thing I had was a foundation to build all beliefs on. Even then, I knew my foundation would remain but all others would forever be up for evaluation and replacement if they didn’t quite fit me anymore.

It took me two years to answer that question because I went through all of my beliefs to determine if they were actually mine or if they were adopted from my family, culture, society, or religion. When I say I stripped them down, I stripped them completely naked, bare bones till the only thing I had was a foundation to build all beliefs on. Even then, I knew my foundation would remain but all others would forever be up for evaluation and replacement if they didn’t quite fit me anymore.

A dear friend of mine taught me that what you resist persists. Through our families, culture, society, school, and religion we are taught value structures that may not align with our essence. The value structures often segregate people into “good” or “bad” based on if their actions are aligned with the values or not.

If you are living in integrity to a conservative religious value that does not accept homosexuality, while knowing that you are sexually attracted to the same sex, you’re not in integrity with yourself. Though on the outside you may look morally upstanding, on the inside, you’re lying. The misalignment is an impaired condition. You are not whole when you’re being someone you think you “should” be but are not.

When your social support circle aligns with a value structure that misaligns with your soul, you’re going to feel resistance. What you resist persists. When it persists, any judgment you feel to yourself will be deflected outward. I think this is the biggest moral problem we see in our world today.

Try this. If you could slip away and anonymously experience what your soul is longing for right now, what would that look and feel like? Let’s say there’s no chance of you ever getting “caught” and absolutely no risk involved. Just total freedom for one week. Now, what’s stopping you? Who’s voice did you immediately hear when you thought of why you can’t do it?

If so many of us value integrity, what’s it going to take for all of us to support true integrity?