Integrity is not a given.
Except sometimes we expect it to be...
It is not the role or a job of another to hold integrity for us.
That is an inside job both of how we show up in our lives and within ourselves and also where we exercise discernment.
I am guilty at times in my life of wearing rose colored glasses, seeing the best in people, wanting to trust people and giving them that until proven otherwise.
I can be naive in my innocence which has, at times, got me into trouble, where I can find myself in situations where I have been taking advantage of or not held in a space of integrity.
This is not an easy lesson to move through, nor it is a pleasant one to be a part of.
It can unroot us deeply, it can erode our trust in life, harm our souls and our sensitivity and create havoc in our outside world.
And something I have learned about my journey of trust and integrity:
It is not a give away... Nor is it something I can blindly hold as being there.
This doesn’t mean that I mistrust the world or people, or that I contract against opportunity because I am afraid I will get taken advantage of again.
It means that I have learned to use my whole sight, to exercise discernment, to tap into wisdom and see a bigger picture and not just go along with a path, a partnership, a conversation without looking at where I am stepping or what is being held there.
The truth is…
Not everyone or everything holds the same integrity as we do.
Not everyone or everything stands in the same alignment.
It doesn’t mean not everyone or everything is good or bad.
It just means we need to be clear on what our intentions are, where our values lie, what feels good to us and what integrity means to our souls before we go leaping into the abyss trusting everything and everyone right off the bat.
Something I have learned from spending time with horses…
Trust your sensitivity, give yourself space to listen to it, and pay attention to how alignment feels to you.
Give yourself room to check something out, use your discernment – is this a fear that comes from baggage from the past and from my mind that is clouding my ability to see in front of me?
Or is this a warning system my natural intelligence is telling me that this person, this path, this relationship is not a fit for me?
There are many times where we ignore the signals and the signs… because we are afraid of standing in our truth, or hurting someone’s feelings, or we really want to see things in a certain way.
How often have you ignored your intuition and then thought afterwards, "Shoot I should have listened to that?"
Our integrity is housed in our feelings, in our sensitivity and is something we must guard and listen to in our lives. And the responsibility of that lies on no one but ourselves.
In my past, I used to have an insecurity of who I was in the world, I have had people tell me my whole life how I was too woo or too sensitive, that this was a bad thing, that I needed to get over and hide.
And what happened was I found myself over and over again in alliances and in partnerships that empowered that.
The integrity of the space I held around myself was not there and so of course it was not held in partnership.
A few years ago I found myself in reflection of noticing how the same thing was happening to me over and over again, entering into spaces with people that were attracted to what I was building, wanting to be a part of it and I myself, because I couldn't see my own value, went along with it.
It was equal and the alignment and shared values was missing.
What arose was a deep sense of foreboding in me, distress and anxiety, and fear, things not feeling right, that I took was something wrong with me.
My spaces were walked on, I held no boundaries, advantages kept happening and I would sit there in a wounded state and wonder… "Why me?" Or "What have I done?"
I realized in a moment of clarity that the common theme was me. I kept finding myself in these places over and over again, until finally I got it one day.
And then I was ashamed and I was angry because here I was again, and I was hurt and I was sad and I realized something.
This was about me owning and claiming my integrity and exercising it in the world, not assuming it would just be there and be blind to what I was walking into.
It was a reclaiming of power and an honest reflection of I can’t assume everyone or everything is going to be exactly where I am and I need to pay attention to that.
You need to pay attention to that…
Integrity, or your version of it, is not a given.
Don’t assume it is going to be there, or that someone is going to hold it for you, so you can be lax about attending to it yourself.
Don’t blindly trust or lean into spaces without feeling into does this feel aligned for me, or exploring the shared values that are so important to you.
Don’t walk around not knowing what integrity feels like to you.
Do you value sacred space? Ease? Intuition?
Does integrity to you mean someone is walking their talk, that your mentors are trained in what they do? That your partnerships align in every way possible for it to make sense?
Does integrity mean that you have a shared value and expression of communication, that you are on the same page in how you hold yourself and live your life in relationship to what feels aligned to you?
You need to know this so that when you enter into a container, a partnership, a relationship you have something to inform you of whether this is where you are meant to be or not.
If I have learned anything over the last 6 years of my journey, both of stepping into holding greater responsibility in my business, hiring staff, entering into partnerships, is that the conversation and awareness on integrity needs to happen and I need to check it before I just leap with my rose colored glasses on and just say yes, without listening deeply to my sensitivity, intuition and fears.
Sometimes your fears are valid. They are nature's warning system that says, "That lake you are about to swim in is filled with crocodiles."
Or "That path you are about to walk goes right through a forest of snakes that are hanging from trees waiting for their next meal."
It does not mean we are fearful of life, or that we automatically assume everyone is out to get us.
But it does mean we are listening, we are using our intuition, we are using our discernment and wisdom and applying it to our lives.
There is a pause and a space I give myself now before I say yes to things, to investments, to mentors, to partnerships, that I didn’t give myself before.
I take some time to listen to my feelings, and my intuition, and my fears, what is coming up for me, is there a part of me that is giving me a warning, and if so what is that warning about.
I know the measurement of integrity, what my values and vision are, what needs to be aligned so that integrity can be maintained and never assume that it is just in existence or that I am on the same page with another.
I seek out my alignment, because I am clear on what it is, so when it shows up I know.
My wise old horse, Indra, once said to me…
"It is either in alignment or it is not.."
So I listen to that now, that soft underbelly and whispers of intuition that say not now… or wait... or this is not the time... or this is not the relationship... Even though on the surface it seems to be, or I really want it to be, or am desperate for it to be. (That has gotten me in trouble.)
Integrity is not a given…
It is a process and conversation.
It is something that requires clarity and upholding.
It needs discernment to be honored.
And it is our role to empower it.
No one else’s.
So pay attention…
If you are reading this, perhaps you have gotten an intuition that something, or some path or some choice just doesn’t feel right.
Get curious about it…
"What is my intuition or sensitivity speaking to me?"
Perhaps it is time to get clear on what your values are, where integrity lies for you, so you know and you can seek out the things that empower that.
Where are you failing to hold integrity for yourself and expecting others to? Time to empower your own sense of worth and values in who you are and what you need in relationship to what you surround yourself with.
Give yourself permission to have pause, to use discernment as a way to empower a trusting and available heart and space for things to come to you, because you really can have both, and you need to have discernment to be trusting and open to life and all that it is bringing towards you.
Listen to your gut, give space to the wisdom of your fears, and remember the only one who holds the integrity of yourself and your direction, your life and your purpose is you.
No one else.
Integrity is not a given…
But the way you hold it within yourself and your life can be.
This is the most powerful lesson I have learned, a most sacred space I now give room to which has lead to a greater empowerment and trust of my own intuition and alignment.
That space is available for you to step into right now as well…