What is the other side of integrity?
I live an unconventional business vagabond’s life, and my hypothesis for living my life is this:
When I step into the Integrity of my True and Authentic Self, I heal. As I heal, I liberate my Spirit.
When I become free, I become abundant. As I become abundant, I become prosperous.
As I prosper, my impact on the world expands.
Living an Authentic Life is as Freeing as it Sounds.
Yet, stepping into integrity is much like disinfecting a wound: When you first apply the medicine, it stings. But the wound gets better quickly after that. If you don’t disinfect the wound, the infection will spread through your body, and so does the pain or discomfort.
Similarly, there is a very real pain that unfolds when disinfecting a life that is not lived authentically or with integrity. Real doubts, fears, and judgments come up during this process.
“The process of coming into your true self and acting in alignment with your thoughts and emotions.”
Imagine this scenario:
If you’re a P!NK fan like me, you might hum the melody of “Runaway” as you’re reading this. If you’re human like me, you’ll recognize yourself in this scenario.
In “Runaway,” P!NK talks about what I call the other side of integrity: “This life makes no sense to me,”“I was just trying to be myself,” “So I had to run away.”
She sings about the fears, doubts, and second guesses that came up once she turned a corner and began to literally run into her True Self.
Most people come to a point in their lives where things suddenly stop making sense. Whether it is literally or metaphorically, we yearn to run away into a life that makes more sense and find a place where we can just be our True Selves.
A place where we are celebrated, not just tolerated. A place where we belong, not just fit in.
Once that yearning is audible and you acknowledge it, you start to seek. Some seek in an Ashram in India, others within energy healing, yet others in books, religions, new hobbies or degrees, a divorce, or the selling of a house. Eventually, you start to seek within yourself instead of out in the world. Sometimes as a coach, I get to help people along that journey.
In that case, a coaching session start out easy enough. I ask, “If I was a genie inside a magic lamp, which three wishes would you have for me?” The client might giggle, imagining me as a larger-than-life blue genie, then takes a breath, fully intending to respond and … one of two things happens:
Either, a slew of things they do not want spills out. Valid and important.
Or, radio silence, followed by a stunned face, followed by a lot of emotions or distraction tactics—which I myself, of course, have tried plenty of.
Then the session takes a turn:
I don’t even know what I want anymore. I’ve just been buried in all the things that need to get done.
If I dared live that life, what would I have to sacrifice? What would I lose? Wouldn’t I alienate others? Who would I upset?
That life, that being you so yearn for during the occasional daydream, threatens staples of your life such as financial security, emotional safety, your credit score, inheritance, acceptance of your community, birth family, and more.
If you were to envision living the life you want, what would you stand to lose? And how does that feel?
Often, when we step into our True Selves, those closest to us exude one of two reactions: they lean in or drift away. It seems easier to focus on those that get closer to you, feel more aligned with you, etc.
However, it is most important to acknowledge those that drift away, because they often leave behind bleeding—if not festering—wounds in our souls and hearts.
That is the other side of integrity: purgatory, where the only way through is … through.
Facing what comes next is the process of healing. This is where we acknowledge limiting beliefs, internalized judgments, engage with our Inner Critic, and turn obstacles into opportunities, wounds into scars, and loss into gain.
This ain’t easy, and a cocktail at the beach might be the last thing it feels like. This is where you deal with your Inner Critic, and where you must face the fact that evolving the relationship with yourself is, in turn, affecting the nature of the relationships you have with others. You’re letting go of one identity and stepping into a new identity. It stings. It feels like pouring disinfectant over an open flesh wound. And that’s okay. It’s okay to hurt. It helps to enroll in coaching, therapy, or to seek a community of like-minded people to support you in keeping on going.
We should be grateful for these parts, as well, because these beliefs, judgements, critics, and obstacles have brought us here in the first place. If the fear was here to help you come into yourself, what would that be like?
Liberating Spirit and Abundance
In healing past wounds and actively putting one foot in front of the other into integrity, you get to update your beliefs and choose new ones. Doing so gives us an opportunity to forgive ourselves for old beliefs and judgments. This is where you are moving from a scarce mindset into one of abundance.
I promise, on the other side of integrity—if you keep doing the work of healing and compassionately coming into yourself—is true freedom: the freedom to choose where and who you want to be, and what you want to do. The freedom to say no. The freedom to love yourself completely and unconditionally. And the freedom to know that you are enough and that there is always enough love to go around.
As you go through this part of the journey, it helps to know why you’re doing this: what future are you doing this for? What being, purpose, authentic self are you doing all this for? And why not start to grow, prosper, and expand right now?