After a night out with friends talking about life and relationships I sat down before a blank piece of paper hoping to let go of some things. As I let my mind wander awaiting to see what my hand would eventually record two words kept coming up….Trust and Integrity. When I was in my 30’s I went through a program called “The Landmark forum,” in that course I learned about the importance of living with integrity and how much I was not living that way at the time. After weeks of exercises and learning about myself I realized that most people really don’t live in a place of integrity because they are not honest with themselves and many times they don’t even realize it. That course was very difficult for me because it opened my mind to how I was living, the truth was I did not have the ability to live with integrity because I had absolutely no self love or self esteem and I was very unhappy. Over time the depth of what I was learning would change the course of my marriage, of my life and eventually bring me here to Nashville. It would also show me how happiness results from having self love.
In a sense self love comes partially from living with integrity because when you are living that way you have nothing making you feel bad about yourself. I once had a tough time understanding the difference between trust and integrity but now I believe trust is something that you have with others and integrity is what you have with yourself. Integrity is your moral principles in motion, your character, your honesty…it is your word. Trust is what results from having that integrity.
A simple example: Helping out a friend for the sake of being kind but complaining to someone else about helping because you didn’t want to do it, or talking negatively about the person you helped. You are acting without integrity because you are talking negatively about the one you helped behind their back. If your complaints to someone else get back to the person you helped it could hurt the way they feel about you and offer a lack of trust the next time you offer to help, it reflects your Integrity of that situation.
To live in a state of true integrity you have to own what you do, you can’t complain or judge and it has to come from a place of love. If you look at any choice or situation with honesty and act accordingly you are operating with integrity. Others see that in you and will pass judgement based on how they perceive you to be which really doesn’t matter because integrity in my opinion is most important to the one living in it. I think it is impossible to live with complete integrity all of the time because we are human, we make mistakes, we pass judgement and it depends on what you choose do with all of those things outwardly. When you are operating at the highest form of integrity, with honestly and own all that you do you are genuinely at your happiest because you are offering the best YOU to others.
Trust is most important when you feel it in another person and when you see their lack of integrity it can cause you to NOT trust. I have been through many relationships that lacked trust. Most of the signs were there early on but because I was so focused on what I wanted to see I overlooked what I didnt want to accept for the sake of hoping I was wrong. Why? Because I wanted to be loved, I wanted to be accepted and hoped that someone else could make me feel that way. The truth is someone else can’t fulfill what I believe is missing, loving myself is what fills that void (along with spirit). Every single relationship that lacked trust was because the person lacked integrity, there were always early signs and a feeling in my gut! In a relationship you can trust until something creates doubt which in turn can create a lack of trust. We can never know for sure when someone is being dishonest but I do believe that the more in tune we are with ourselves and when we have self love we will make clearer decisions based on what we are feeling. The confidence that self love can create will help you to see through the fog of infatuation. Once trust is broken it is very difficult to get back, if it is broken more than once doubt sets in and when that happens it reflects the integrity of the one who broke it. Forgiveness is very important but you can forgive without actually trusting. It takes time to trust, to repair trust and if integrity in the person being forgiven doesnt show up it can’t be repaired.
My past decisions have made me who I am today and hopefully I am learning the lessons, making better decisions because of them and becoming a better person in the process. I always try my best to live from a place of integrity not because of what others believe me to be but because I want to live my life with integrity for me. “Trust” and “Integrity” were on my mind when I started writing this but I couldn’t deny the truth that lies in having “self love.” Thank you for reading, wishing you all the best and sending love…..