The first page in the companion guide has a few definitions of integrity. he defined it as “(1) the quality or state of being complete; unbroken; wholeness; entirety; (2) the quality of state of being unimpaired; perfect condition; soundness: (3) the quality or state of being of sound moral principles; uprightness; honesty, and sincerity.” As I read this quote, I had to stop and think about it for a while. If this is what integrity is, it seems as if we spend our entire lives journeying back to a space we were in before we ever came into this world. I guess the word that really got me is honesty. I would like to think that I am a fairly honest person, but if I were being completely honest with myself, I would have to say that there are times that I lie. I probably lie more to myself then I do to anyone else. However, even as I write this, I am thinking if I am lying to myself, then is it even possible for me to be completely honest with everyone else. As I thought about this, I found myself going back to one of my favorite movies, The Never Ending Story, and thinking about the scene where he has to stand before the mirror of truth and see the good, bad, and ugly about himself. He has to be willing to be searched and see the truthfulness that he does not show to anyone else.
Sometimes I am not even sure I realize I am lying. I can justify it by saying something like “well technically it was true.” like earlier today, I was talking to someone who did not take the subtle hints (plural) that I did not have the time to spend 2 hours on the phone. To get off the phone, I said, “well I have to go to the bathroom and I really do not want to take you with me.” I was off the phone. Did I have to go to the bathroom? No, not at that very moment. I did go about 30 minutes later. However, I was not being completely honest when I said that.
When I was younger, I used to lie all the time. At the time, I would just say I was being creative. However, the reality is that I lied. They were not even little lies; they were big ones. The most creative lie, I think, was when I told people that John F Kennedy and his family had stopped by my house while they were doing a driving tour of our area. I would like to say that I no longer lie at all, but that would be a lie as well. It has been a challenge to become so mindful of everything I say or do and my awareness of when I am even lying to myself.
Sometimes this seems like a hard world to maintain one’s integrity in. How willing am I to be open with myself and others about my flaws and insecurities? What am I afraid of? Am I afraid to be honest with myself? Am I afraid that others will not like or appreciate me if they see beyond the groomed version of myself? Do I really want people to see that degree of honesty in me? Being honest with ourselves is so hard. It seems easier then it is once you start asking yourself what do I believe? Why do I believe that? Where did that belief come from? Is it something I know or something I believe because somebody else has taught me it is true? Where do my insecurities come from? Why do I even have them? Why do I think I am flawed? Why don’t I know I am perfect just as I am? If I were in The Never Ending Story standing in front of that mirror would I be whole enough to see the truth or would I crumble into dust at the sight of what I saw? I would like to think after all the soul searching I have been doing that I would be standing, but perhaps that too is a lie. In any case, I guess I will be exposing my lies to myself as I continue on this journey of self-exploration and healing.