The global community today lauds integrity and transparency in business and government.
But today, I don’t want to talk about integrity from that perspective.
Instead, I want to talk about the integrity with ourselves – personal integrity.
What does it mean by having “personal integrity”?
I define personal integrity as an alignment with our values, clarity on what we stand for and how we embrace our weaknesses and strengths – to show up fully to be of service to others.
If you ever felt conflicted, unease or just simply frustrated without understanding why, there is a small probability that something is nudging you to realign and reclaim your self integrity.
It has been a challenging journey for me to discover this path because it has not always been easy to dig deep into the dark closet and face my own shadows. What eventually drove me to get into the uncomfortable territory and face my own shadow is the vision to be a better mother, a better leader and most importantly, to be at peace with myself.
Recognizing that this is an ever-evolving journey, I realized that it will never be complete and one can only go as far as he / she wants to go. In my own journey, these question have helped me to re-center and ground myself closer back to integrity. I hope it will help you to re-center (and remember to take a deep breath!):
If I see my compassionate Self, what would I do as the next step?
I love this most because this is the gentlest question and I usually start with this first before I ask the rest of the questions.
What part of me contributed to this situation?
I have been in many conflict situations and my habitual response would be to blame the other person or the situation (who doesn’t?). However, after much practice, zooming out to see which part of me contributed to the conflict has enabled me to stay true to myself. Owning up, instead of feeling victimized shifted the blame energy and increased my understanding why that happened. A lot of times, I have to seek God’s help for me to see it clearly and see my own shadows. As a result, it usually will dissolve the negative energy in me, which helped me to frame a much more productive and generative communication. Of course, the journey continues and I am still practicing.
Is it aligned with my values?
When I feel charged with some issues, I caught myself being so judgmental on the other person’s opinions. Again, it takes a lot of muscles to just breathe and step back. This question helps me reframe and bring me back to integrity. Most times, I know that some of my actions and my feelings probably violate my own values, so this question keeps me honest.
If I believe that the Universe supports me in staying true to myself, I wonder what would be the best option?
After having deep (and mostly painful) reflections from the earlier questions above, I like to progress with this question since it evokes wonder and play. It is really to change my state of seriousness to something more open, yet still effective.
Looking back at the so-called perceived weaknesses, are there signs of strengths and how can I use to contribute?
I use this sometime to make me feel better. Recognizing that sometimes I may be too hard on myself, so I tend to see things in a negative light, under pressure. This question challenges my assumptions and beliefs, to dig deeper and see that some of the features are my strengths, instead of “perceived” weaknesses. For example, I used to think that my emotional sensitivity is my liability at work, but now I realized that when harnessed properly, it provides a headstart to create deeper connection with people around me.
Hope this helps you (and do not forget to take a couple of deep breaths!)
So, how far would you go to have personal integrity? I would invest my time to do this since my intention is to create a deeper connection with myself and be more congruent (my 2018 goal to “create”).
The Shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge, and it therefore, as a rule, meets with considerable resistance. Indeed, self-knowledge as a psychotherapuetic measure frequently requires much painstaking work extending over a long period of time.
– Carl Jung