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My 10-step pledge to integrity

Posted by Karen M. Wyatt on May 23, 2012 at 7:00 AM

One of the qualities I have always claimed to value is INTEGRITY. I have preached it to other people, criticized those who don’t seem to have it and demanded that everyone else operate with it. I have also complained bitterly about the lack of integrity in our society as a whole and cited many examples of the absence of this quality. Yet I have not really checked my own behavior to make sure that I always act with integrity or even that I deeply understand what that means.

When I looked it up I found out that the word integrity is derived from the Latin root integer, which means “entire” or “untouched.” So to have integrity means to act with wholeness, from the whole self, with nothing left out. That suggests that when part of your Self is hidden away in the Shadow, then it is impossible to act with integrity, because some aspect of you is being left out. The only way to have greater integrity is to work tirelessly on the Shadow, exposing those hidden places and making them part of the whole once again.

Once I understood this concept I created a list of all the ways I don’t act with integrity in my life so that I could start working on them one-at-a-time. This was a very interesting journaling project and I recommend it to others (if you don’t already keep a journal, read here to find out why you should!) Then I made a pledge to myself to make genuine integrity one of my life goals with the following steps:

1. Hold myself accountable for everything I do, fail to do or say I will do.

2. Apologize whenever necessary for not living up to my promises, with no excuses.

3. Make right whatever I have failed to do.

4. Stop blaming other people for the mistakes I myself make.

5. See my own lies before they are spoken.

6. Forgive myself for being afraid to make a mistake.

7. Stop committing to things I really don’t want to do.

8. Find the courage to say No when it is the right answer.

9. Stop trying to please other people.

10. Stop being angry with other people when I can’t please them.

These are the top-10 things I need to work on in order to grow in personal integrity. What are yours? Stop and think about it– where are you not whole in your actions? Where do you need to improve? Get a journal (yes, I keep saying that) and make your list today, because, like I always say, this world can definitely use more people who act with integrity. We cannot hope to heal our planet until our societies become whole and we cannot hope to heal our societies until we become whole.

Categories: Spiritual Practice, Lifestyle, Psychology

Copyright ©2010 Karen Wyatt, MD

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