INTEGRITY MONTH: DAY 18: “Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won’t cheat, then you know he never will. Integrity is not a search for the rewards of integrity. Maybe all you ever get for it is the largest kick in the ass the world can provide. It is not supposed to be a productive asset.” ― John D. MacDonald
I love the idea that all rewards are intrinsic in nature. I believe that. The feeling I have when I know I have done something with which I do not feel aligned is horrible. I don’t expect Universal punishment. It is enough that I know I am doing or did the wrong thing.
That is all part of the learning process, I believe. I want to act in accordance with the highest and the best I know. Sometimes that line is unclear to me. I am not sure that is true, but it feels that way. There are not hard and fast rules for this stuff. It often feels that I have to live into each situation. I most often intuitively know how to proceed.
When it involves others and their behavior, and how I respond to that, I can be misled. If it is either my own codependence or the rigidity of my values, I waiver. I am unclear. It is a situation-by-situation business. I just know I cannot always resolve it long-term and have to take it one day at a time.
But I DO know that I have values that preclude either my own or others’
being less than honest and integral. I lose respect and trust in anything less.
Don’t we all?
I am not speaking about the kind of honesty that doesn’t take things from me. I mean the kind where I am stolen from emotionally and spiritually.
The concepts of Vedic teaching are very important to me. They are probably my greatest yardstick for this stuff. The concept of non-stealing is so important, because it speaks deeply to not stealing my life by taking time away from me that is not used skillfully and honorably. Or that I do not freely give. I have had this happen and it is really hard to sit with.
All in all, the process of deepening my commitment to my own spiritual growth is solitary. I cannot make anyone else want to walk this good red road. So I must, as we all know, walk it a great deal alone. I am so okay with that and getting better every day.
What I feel for the path and the way I walk it is the only concern I have today. And I am grateful for this path.