Sunday, August 10, 2014

Integrity: A Whole New Level of Honesty

One thing thing current full moon seems to be bringing to a head is the rift between superficiality and inner truth. Most of American culture still fixates on and operates on the level of superficial appearance- hold down the trappings of being put together, make it look good, and drink up when you party because you want to forget about all of the feelings you are ignoring, suppressing, avoiding and afraid to touch. Using sarcasm and passive aggressive digs, we can willfully release the pressure of holding back and fighting reality within. It is considered acceptable to disrespect one's friends and spouse with this abusive form of coping. Strangers in any daily situation may as well vomit out a bunch of emotional venom on anyone in the way if a normal situation touches on the bubble of unsettled rage within: waitstaff, other drivers in traffic, people in line, customer service representatives.. Watch out, because at any moment anyone may explode and make you into their target and unknowing psychiatrist. I can't even bring words to how true, nor how sick this paradigm is. Nor can words express how unacceptable this is; we need to pick up our bits and develop some integrity as adults.

I am a proponent of a vision of adult maturity which allows for playfulness, flexibility, health, creativity, spontaneity, child-like and youthful passions to fill us until the day we die. There's only one rule of this model of mature humanity, and that rule is to have integrity at all times. What does that even mean?

Simply and crassly put, own your shit.

More elaborately and articulately-
No one is perfect. We are all engaging in a work-in-progress called life. We are always uncovering new ways to hear our true motivations and desires, we are always finding new ways to become healthier and happier. We are all dancing this dance of getting away from that which feels sick or wrong and moving into what feels freeing, enlightening, healthier and more passionate. We have multiple layers of motivations and situations that influence our desires and actions in every moment, and we need to be in contact with that. And most of all, we need to own (take full responsibility and claim openly) our truth, no matter how raw, ugly, awkward, vulnerable, beautiful, or inconvenient.

Bottom line, no matter what, all of our motivations boil down to this- we all seek to feel good and happy and to not suffer or hurt. We humans don't always take the direct route, because sometimes it requires taking risks, applying self-control and getting out of our comfort zone, but we do seek happiness and non-suffering nonetheless.

We need to stop fixating merely on goals and pay attention to the process- being alive is a process. Then, we can decide if our motivations are giving us the right information as to what will aid in augmenting our long-term happiness or cause suffering down the road.

We need to be able to say "I'm sorry I was yelling, I was hurting so badly and was trying to get it out, and it had nothing to do with you." Speak the deepest level of truth that you can touch in the moment. Treat every fellow human as an equal, because no matter how rich or poor, ignorant or educated, we all have hearts, hurts and dreams. That is what it is to do your best as a human, and what makes life work out for the best of all involved- when you can take down the walls that block you from feeling connected to yourself and others and let it all flow.

One obstacle many face in this movement to a new integrity is the fact that they don't trust what they feel as real, and they become disconnected- they aren't honest with themselves. If you aren't being honest with yourself as to your feelings about something or someone, if you are idealizing your feelings or forcing them to fit into convenient patterns, you cannot be honest with others. Your every word and action will be out of integrity. Sensitive people will feel that rift between your heart and actions, and the wider the gap, the more off-putting it will feel.

We all have our moments, when we didn't realize our feelings about someone or something. And with or without intentions to cause harm, if we are not in integrity with ourselves, we are like a free-radical, bouncing around and chipping away at the peace of others around us.

The only solution is to start feeling our feelings. The only way to clean up the toxic mess within and to zip up our integrity is to take the plunge to feel everything we have been avoiding. This is not easy work, but then again, the alternative isn't too pretty. If we don't face our truth and do our work within, we set a course for hollow and unsatisfying relationships, self-hatred, cancer, short fuses, passive aggressive behavior, aging poorly, and general to intense dissatisfaction in life.

Once determined to face our true motivations and feelings, we have to feel intensely everything we experience. It is moving through these experiences that allows us to address and healthfully process our current and past circumstances, traumas, and wounds. Step by step we heal these within us, and develop a level of inner peace, ease, comfort and joy that becomes an underlying time of our way of life. We stop silently demonizing ourselves for being human, and learn to love ourselves for our best efforts and unique qualities. Then and only then can we truly love others for who they are, in all their humanness too. That's when we stop looking to everyone outside of us to satisfy and gratify us, we stop seeking wholeness externally, and find it within. Then we can form real friendships, relationships and integrity.

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