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Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Cost of Integrity

The price of integrity is honesty, the kind of truth and honesty that require you to dig down underneath what you think you know about yourself, and bring that essence up into your daily life, and live according to it.

Wherever you don't, wherever there is omission, denial, secrecy, or deceit, ask yourself why.  Who or what are you trying to protect?  Because we create a lot of deception in the name of protecting those we love, but really we are just protecting ourselves - protecting something or someone we don't want to lose from the fallout of telling the truth because we know that truth could equal loss.

But anything that you are maintaining at the expense of honesty is also at the expense of yourself.  Because where there is deception, there is an energetic suck, a place where your intention and your thoughts, words or actions are out of line.  And wholeness, integrity, depends on alignment between these aspects of the self.

It's like plumbing pipes.  Even if most of the pipe connections are solid and strong, just one small leak will compromise the entire system.  One small joint where two ends are out of alignment is enough to wreak havoc on otherwise well-functioning plumbing.  But any homeowner can tell you that even one small little leak, one small break, one small fitting out of alignment, can cost everything.

You can convince yourself all of the good and helpful reasons for not being honest, or completely honest, but with every instance of deceit, you are simply creating more unsustainable structures in your life, more places of potential sorrow, because you know what can happen if the secret is revealed.  And if it is, it will be so much worse for having made it a secret in the first place.

I'm not saying it's easy. And some times are harder than others. And sometimes the cost of honesty is high. But so is the cost of deceit. But at the end of the day, all you have is who you are, and if you're serious about the spiritual journey, of facing and confronting the challenges of being human, this is one challenge you simply can't shy away from.

Use discretion and sensitivity. Honesty isn't a license to hurt people.  And even AA says apologize and make amends except where to do so would cause more harm. But take an unflinching look at yourself.  Who have you lied to, about what, and why?  And is this how you want to continue? Or do you want to be a person of integrity and wholeness, someone who is honest because that's simply the kind of human being you choose to be.

And if you find there are lies in your life that you don't want, even if you can't fix them right away, ask yourself why you're willing to live a life that requires dishonesty.  Why are you willing to deceive to get someone or something you want, and what does that say about you?  That kind of dishonesty is just selfishness or immaturity, or a combination of both, no?.  Lying to the Nazis to hide Anne Frank?  Different kind of lie for a different reason.  But you know the difference, don't you? The good news? It's always the right time to do the right thing.

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