Integrity is…

Words from another can sometimes feel like they are exactly what I need to say, to think, to hear, to marinate in. I often find that I am easily overwhelmed by sheer amount of inspiration around me. I expand my arms wide and say yes. I buy books, I join e-courses and am cracked open to the wisdom of others, and then, like clockwork, the feeling of overwhelm washes over me.

Which inspirational thread do I follow?

Whose words do I try on for size?

Which of the four or five books in the coveted space on by bedside table do I actually finish first?

In my state of overwhelm, in all honesty, I often just drop things that excited me just days, weeks, months before because it all feels too much to digest. I step back, I and fall into mindlessness (usually in the form of reality tv or Law and Order marathons) and zone out until I am called back to my life.

Recently, something that called me back was a favorite and cherished friend’s blog where I saw that she had created a button that read “Integrity is Sexy.”

Hmmm…

integrity

1 : firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility

2 : an unimpaired condition : soundness

3 : the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness

The phrase has really stuck with me. It has me thinking not only about what integrity is but also about where I am living out of integrity in my life.

As I began to explore my ideas of integrity, I began to notice the glaring places where I fall short. I have begun to notice that I spend so much time looking outside of myself for guidance, for inspiration, for answers but I haven’t spent nearly as much time looking inside to see which things feel sound for me, which things provide a sense of completeness.

So far I have decided:

There is integrity in culling through my Google Reader only subscribing to blogs that ignite my soul, going through the books on my shelves and holding on to only those words that speak to me.

There is integrity in choosing (even when the choice turns out to be oh so wrong).

There is integrity in following that choice to a natural conclusion.

There is integrity in changing course.

There is integrity in claiming my voice – in drinking in all of the inspiration and then making a translation all my own.

In the end, isn’t that where integrity lives? In the distillation within our being that takes any inspiration and transforms it into something else unique, re-worked, and ultimately undeniably you.