Although we most often think of integrity in the context of morals and doing the right thing, it’s useful to know that the word derives from the Latin and Old French roots meaning “wholeness” or “soundness.”
When we think of a person who has integrated her moral code with all aspects of both her business and personal lives, there is a sense of wholeness. And “wholeness,” of course, is equivalent to “wellness.”
So it seems that integrity and wellness are related. How do you feel about the possibility that one can be well by being “sound”? What are the ways that you manifest wholeness in your life? How important is balance in a whole life?
One of our Connecticut Study Haller’s wrote:
“I’m wondering if you can address how one regains one’s integrity after a fall? Making amends? Undoing damage? Coming clean with others?”
“What are some examples of people who reclaimed their integrity and of those who didn’t? Integrity offsets? How big is your integrity footprint?”
A way to start answering these great questions is to know that integrity requires self-examination and self-honesty. Conduct a thorough analysis of a situation from both your own and the other’s point of view.
Be a contrarian and reverse your strongly-held positions and, for a moment, assume that their opposites are true. Try on how it feels to be on the receiving end of what others may view as your lack of integrity.
Based on the results of your analysis, you can formulate a plan of action to compensate, in all appropriate ways, those whom your breach of integrity has harmed. Amends, and perhaps redemption, can then be possible.
We live in a culture where many people have cheated because they can get away with it. Taking unfair advantage of a situation is obviously a violation of integrity. Doing something dishonest just because you can is wrong.
Writer John D. MacDonald said:
“Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your image of yourself; and if you look in there and see a man who won’t cheat, then you know he never will.”
How would you assess your own integrity? Has your integrity ever been conditional? Can you be counted on to do what you say – and to do for yourself and others what you promise? Are you a person of integrity?
Many people responded to our topic of integrity. A great friend sent the following:
“Inner integrity is our basic nature – the effortless emotional wholeness that is our human birthright.”
“When we tune into our direct experience as it actually is in the moment – not what our heads think about it, but what we actually experience – we find ourselves able to act in alignment with life, rather than wrestling with it.”
The author is Kerry Moran, LPC, and the highly-recommended website is:
Are you able to access your inner integrity? How are you aware of it? What has stopped you from being there in the past?
It’s been said that without integrity, we don’t exist. Why? Because for one to pretend to be true when one isn’t true simply invalidates * being * itself.
Dishonesty exists for one primary purpose: to mislead. To mislead others – but, ultimately, to mislead oneself. If all we have is our word, then to utter false words is to, in effect, cease to exist.
Yet, no one of us is perfect. All humans, by definition, are flawed vessels. So how do we reconcile our imperfection with our hunger for integrity?
How do you feel when someone lies to you? How do you feel when you know that someone is not operating from integrity – especially if they are trying to imply or assure you that they are? What are the implications for the health of that relationship? How can we, as humans, do better?