June 16, 2011
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.
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