inteGRITTY: Cultivating Courage to be Whole and Undivided

Integrity is not this static state that you simply set and forget; living with integrity means living in a dynamic state of communicating and integrating your highest and best self.

This requires grit.
 

I can remain comfortably unconscious of my blind spots, or I can feel the sting where I run into the gaps of integrity, acknowledge them, learn, and move forward. 

Let's dive into this with my favorite metaphor: Bare feet. 

Being my authentic (barefoot) self can actually be uncomfortable a fair amount of the time, but as I persist through the midst of discomfort, my feet adapt to the challenge. Strength and resilience are built as I live into my commitment to authenticity. The more I return to my sandals (or, gods-forbid, SHOES), the more I adapt to those padded ways of being. The sensory deprivation can serve the purpose of protection... but what am I protecting? Myself from discomfort; myself from awareness of what is around me. I can handle all the information. Where I think I cannot is usually because of my preoccupation or fear, rather than living with open-handed (and bare-footed) courage in the moment.

In my life, I can try to hide from the impact of my actions on others, or I can feel it, integrate the information, and grow in the process.

It sucks to feel how my words and actions have hurt others, and while I know their reactions are shaped by their programming and perceptions, I can mind the gap between my intent and the outcomes.  I am not suggesting we are merely beholden to the perceptions of expectations of others. Instead, it comes back to this question: Who and how do I desire to be?

Many will not understand. There will be gaps in communication, gaps in connection, lapses into judgment. This is not a question of me simply being liked or understood, it is a reflection of my commitment to living in alignment with who and how I desire to be.

There is grit required in practice. Playing the game of your life with a full-hearted presence again and again. There the is grit formed called patience. I can be patient with myself and others because I know I am doing my best. There is the grit of a strong sensitivity and an openness to being with others in their messes as you are with yourself in yours. This journey takes courage, but I can promise you it's more fun this way.

Here's to finding the GRIT in inteGRITy. 

-Ben

 


Photo by Justin Luebke on Unsplash