I define Integrity as “doing the right thing, regardless of the outcome.” It is not always easy to do that. Often, we are worried about how others might view us or if they will “like” us. With our family, it is often will they “love” us. I bump into this one often. To make it a clearer choice for myself… I usually think about … will like myself if I do not do the right thing? Then, my path or “choice” becomes clearer. At the end of the day, the only thing each of us owns free and clear is ourselves; that is both mind and body. Integrity is ours when we do the right thing for others… not only ourselves.
A few years ago, it was mentioned by one of my own family members… that my “choices” sometimes affected them. That both surprised and saddened me at the same time. We had been going through a period of great change in our immediate lives and it sometimes required that I focus on my own issues and healing … in additon to theirs. I had erroneously reasoned that unless I was “healthy” in mind, body, and spirit …I would be of no use to them. So, in order to do that, I had become “unhealthy” to them. I didn’t see it that way, but they did. All I knew was I believed in my heart that I was doing “the right thing” for them… as well as myself.
That’s when the light went on! Each of us feels tested and challenged, some more so than others by mere personality. We recover in the best and only way we know how, at the time. Is it always the best for the other people in our lives? Maybe not. However, we do the best that we can with what hand we have been dealt. While I was busy being proud of myself for my own personal accomplishments of not ‘falling apart’ at this new test in Life …they saw my actions/ words as inappropriate. While I was trying my best to keep it “all together,” for them more than myself, they saw my actions as negative.
And then, one night as I was falling asleep…Eureka! At that particular time, I really believed in my heart and soul that I was doing the best I could in that given situation and with Integrity. But our personal definition of Integrity, and doing the “right thing” may not be someone else’s definition then or even now. Is there a right way and is there a wrong way of dealing with things in our lives that are difficult? What I realized…in a moment of clarity…was that our personal ”right way” of doing something maybe someone else’s “wrong way” of handling the same trial or test.
We must do the best we can, each time, and always do it with purity of heart and intentions. But, brace yourself…sometimes, it may not be viewed as we would like. Keep the destination in sight. I have to believe it is all seen from above by God. I personally don’t believed that: “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions,” as the cliche goes. Good intentions… are always good, even if they fail. If you tried your hardest… then regardless of the outcome, you did it with Integrity.
Peace to all.