Wednesday, January 6, 2010

How to regain our integrity.

Post 401 - “Character is a quality that embodies many important traits, such as integrity, courage, perseverance, confidence and wisdom. Unlike your fingerprints that you’re born with and can’t change, character is something that you create within yourself and must take responsibility for changing.” - Jim Rohn

Carl Jung pointed out that we support and maintain the image we have of ourselves by seeking out others who reinforce the person we like to think we are. Guilt also allows us to hold on to what we pretend to believe even as we act in ways that contradict our espoused beliefs and values. It’s useful to think of guilt as a warning sign that we’re getting off course, and that we need to rethink a belief or behavior. Guilt is a mirror where we get a look at our self-limiting beliefs. Once we knock down one of these self-limiting beliefs, it’s easier to knock down the others - a bit like dominos.

As a result, the best place to work on building better relationships is in the mirror. Creating a positive persona that attracts others requires a shift in how we view ourselves. The bravest thing we can do is to be who we really are and not apologize for it. Rather than asking, “What am I going to do to solve this problem?” ask instead, “Who am I going to be to solve this problem?” Living a ‘no fault’ life means acting like “it all depends on me.” Personal accountability is essential if we’re to grow and develop our potential.

So, even though it’s difficult to do, we’re better off if we face up to our fears and insecurities. Jung emphasizes that we need to take responsibility for our own actions instead of blaming others. Denying our own accountability doesn’t make us any less accountable. Integrity is the state of being whole and complete. It involves having personal honesty. Anytime we break our word, there’s a loss of self, a loss of respect - our own and that of others. Accountability without integrity is like a ticking time bomb. If we want our lives to work, it’s all about personal integrity.

One way to start regaining our integrity is to make a list of broken agreements and things we didn’t complete in the past. If we write these down and do clean-up work by acting in ways that atone for them, then we can start over and move on.

Operating from blame or from judgment is one of the clearest signs that we’re doing something wrong. Anytime we’re blaming, we’re operating from a lower level of consciousness. Anyone we can’t forgive, we carry around inside us like a hostage. We can’t simultaneously know love and be unwilling to forgive. If we won’t forgive, we have to judge. Fear condemns and love forgives.

This reminds me of an old Irish Proverb:

What shall I do to love? Believe.
What shall I do to believe? Love.

1 comment:

john cotter said...

Thank you Ed. Where can we find "The Value of Values"?