June 16, 2011

Integrity

We are all liars. In the very moment that our trust is violated and we are abused, we have to make a decision – will we tell or will we cover it up. Most of us, because we are young when the abuse occurs, don’t even make this decision in a deeply insightful way. We simply know something about what has happened is bad and wrong, and you get in trouble for doing bad and wrong things – so we don’t tell.

This means that we sit down to breakfast with this huge thing happening that we can’t speak about. When asked if anything is wrong, we say, “I need more butter on my pancakes.” Our word becomes more and more degraded over time. Soon, we tell little lies out of habit rather than necessity. This disconnection from what we say lining up with what is happening, what we are doing is what I call “a lack of integrity.”

Now, integrity is one of those words that usually makes people stiffen uneasily. It seems to be a word that connotes unachievable heights. For me, though, integrity is simply saying what you mean, and meaning what you say – then following through with action to see to it that what you’ve given your word comes to fruition. For example, don’t say, “I hate you, I’m never going to talk to you again” if you don’t mean it. If you do mean it, then do it! Don’t say, “We should get together for lunch sometime” unless you mean it. If you do mean it, then send an email or make a call to actually get a date on the calendar.

In the world of recovery, we hear a lot about building back our self-esteem, getting over the shame and guilt, forgiving, and a myriad of other areas that are affected by abuse (and, to be sure, we’re going to talk about these topics in this blog). Yet, the one area I’ve noticed doesn’t get addressed often is the impact of abuse on our ability to live authentic, integrous lives.

It the last two posts, I spoke about how language and what we say is extremely powerful. For too long, we have been disconnected from our voice as a way to restore integrity and to cut out the lying.

So, before we go any further, I want you to consider deeply what you are giving your word to these days, and what the impact is on you and others when you don’t follow through. Don’t say “maybe” if you really mean “no.” Don’t say, “I’ll call you” if you aren’t going to. Try this week to not speak idly, but to honor your word.

It may seem scary, you may hesitate to conceive that your word, your voice could be powerful – but take this step and you’re on your way to living a life of integrity!

If you’d like to learn more about how Trauma Recovery coaching can support you in restoring your integrity, I encourage you to schedule a free 30 minute Discovery Session!

P.S. I'm still running my "4 Free Sessions" deal for all new clients. If we decide to work together, your first four sessions are free - no strings attached! This offer will be ending August 1st – so don’t miss this opportunity to sign up or share coaching with someone you know.

4 comments:

  1. "We know that Daniel lived to interpret dreams for Nebuchadnezzar’s son, Belshazzar, so we know that however Daniel told the dream and interpretation, he spoke the truth in love—and had the Lord’s protection. Despite delivering bad news, Daniel forged ahead, risked his life, and was called back to interpret more dreams. The point is, kindly tell the truth, maintain your integrity, say or do what is right, and you will likely be respected, not rejected. Even if you are rejected, you’ve done the right thing. Ephesians 4:15 exhorts us to “speak the truth in love” with maturity so it doesn’t sound cold."

    Kuhne, Mark (2011). Giving God the Helm (Kindle Locations 914-920). Overcoming For Life LLC. Kindle Edition.

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  2. If everything we do and say has integrity, then truth, justice and righteousness is our foundation. In his book "Think and Grow Rich," Napoleon Hill put it this way, “I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure unless built upon truth and justice; therefore, I will engage in no transaction that does not benefit all whom it affects.”

    Hill's statement is founded in Biblical truth: Righteousness and justice are the foundation of the Lord’s throne (see Psalm 97:2). Truth, righteousness, and justice are important to the Lord. Acting in truth is sincerity in action and character. Righteousness—acting in accord with divine or moral law—helps you live free from guilt and sin. Justice is really not much more than being fair according to the rules of law. It shouldn’t be an issue, but the tricky part for some people is considering “Whose law?”

    Kuhne, Mark (2011). Giving God the Helm (Kindle Locations 732-735). Overcoming For Life LLC. Kindle Edition.

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  3. Thank you for this post. You got this idea right-on: "Yet, the one area I’ve noticed doesn’t get addressed often is the impact of abuse on our ability to live authentic, integrous lives." I didn't even notice my integrity slowly slipping away over time. Suddenly I realized I had a double standard. I've taken steps to regain my integrity.

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  4. Not telling is not lying, it's simply avoiding the conversation or arguments. We must understand that people differ. There are those who can easily tell if something wrong happened and there are those who cannot. And I think some remain silent because they're afraid to be misunderstood or might say the wrong words.What we need I guess is to search deep into ourselves to realize what we really wanted and maybe after that we can be confident with what words we say.

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