September 3       

Today's quotation:

Strive for integrity-- that means knowing your values in life and behaving in a way that is consistent with these values.

Today's Meditation:

Integrity is a beautiful word.  It means "wholeness," or "soundness," such as in an "integrated system" or an "integral part of the world."  Of course, we use it to describe someone who sticks to a strong moral code, but the meaning of the word is much deeper than that.  If we strive for integrity, we're really striving for completeness, and we're really striving for a wholeness that reflects who we are as human beings.

We could say that integrity is the only way to integrity-- that sticking to our values is the only way to reach wholeness.  It's important, though, to keep in mind that our values are not absolute qualities, written in stone.  Instead, they should be malleable as clay so that as we learn more about life and living, we can allow our values to change with us.  After all, how many people have valued work above all else, only to change their values after their families have left them?  How many people have valued money above everything, only to recant when they've discovered how lonely they are with their riches?

"Knowing your values" is the only way to be able to act in ways consistent with those values.  And acting in that way can help you to reach a state of integrity in your life, rather than feeling fragmented and incomplete.  If you know what's important to you in life, then you can make decisions based on that and see results that come about because of your dedication to your values.  And we can become whole people-- people of integrity-- only by sticking to what we feel is right, no matter what.

Wholeness and completeness may sound like impossible dreams, but they're really just waiting for us to make decisions based on what we value the most.

Questions to consider:

How would you define the word "integrity"?

Have you ever sat down to seriously consider what you value above all else?

What are some important steps to wholeness for us?

For further thought:

Perhaps losing integrity with yourself is the greatest stress of all, far more hurtful to us than competition, time pressure, or lack of respect.  Our vitality is rooted in our integrity.  When we do not live in one piece, our life force becomes divided.  Becoming separated from our authentic values may weaken us.

Rachel Naomi Remen

more thoughts and ideas on integrity



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