Continuing our series on character, this week I want to talk about Integrity. This is not always an easy one. Sometimes the right thing is the hardest to do. We strive to teach integrity to our children and model it before them every day. And there are times we screw it all up. But I want to encourage you today…because that’s what we do around here 🙂
I love this quote from Oprah
We can live our lives with integrity every day, not just in the big things, but in the small things. The things no one else sees but us. When we return the extra $5 the bank teller gave us instead of keeping it, when we catch up to the young woman who dropped her necklace in the parking lot instead of leaving it on the ground, when we stop for that annoying stop sign out in the middle of nowhere even when no one is around instead of blowing through it on the way to work, when we say we will pray for our friend and then we really do it, when we help the helpless even when it’s inconvenient to us… How often do we do these things without even thinking about it? When you live a life of integrity, these things become like second nature. And I want to take a moment to tell you how awesome that is! For real! Because there are many people who keep that $5..and the necklace….and don’t think twice about doing that. And so many times we forget that little eyes are watching us live our lives this way. They are learning by your doing….hearing your actions more than your words. And as you do what’s right, they learn to do what’s right; and the cycle continues…what a great cycle to perpetuate!
I think integrity also means living your life truthfully, being real. It doesn’t mean you have to tell your entire story to every person you meet, but when we live with truth, we stop trying to cover up. I used to pretend a lot. I pretended to have a perfect life, I pretended to have perfect kids, I pretended to have the perfect home, I pretended to be the perfect Mom. But what I’ve come to realize is that pretending to be perfect doesn’t help anyone….because no one is perfect. Every one of us has struggles and when we live a life of integrity, we don’t have to stress ourselves out covering up our reality. A wise woman once told me that I don’t have to share my story, it’s my story, I can choose to share it when and with whom I want, but I also shouldn’t feel ashamed to tell my story because I’d be surprised how much healing it will bring to others.
So, today, I encourage you to live your life with integrity. Do the right thing, when others see and when they don’t… and be real. Like I always say, when you are honest about your struggles (and your victories), you release the burden from others who thought they were alone. You can do it! I believe in you! 🙂
Keep Dreaming ~