You´ve certainly read the articles pointing out Seven proven tips to sleep better at night or Your keys to a better night´s sleep. If I had to give you my one proved tip for a sound sleep, it would definitely be to get yourself some integrity. Nothing helps us to sleep better than the knowing that everything we´ve done during the day was in alignment with our words and that our words were in alignment with our thoughts. That is what I mean by integrity. When I´m in a state of integrity I feel whole. I´m not torn between what I think and what I know to be true for me and what I present to the world. I bet you know the feeling of betraying yourself, the feeling of giving your power away in an exchange for a little bit of approval or feeling of safety. I´ve done it so many times that I thought it was normal to live my life that way. I thought that the feeling of powerlessness stemming from a lack of integrity was a part of a regular life.
However, I´m writing this to remind myself and to remind you, that not being honest about your feelings and thoughts is not OK. To learn to suppress the truth of who you are in your heart, in order not to disturb others or the comfort of your own life as you´re living it now, is not OK at all. To live with pain because you´ve betrayed yourself is not normal. We are not here to live just a shadow of a life we are capable of living. We´re here to express the full, radiant, blazing truth of who we are and we won´t be able to do that if we continue compromising our values, beliefs and our souls. Therefore, telling a lie matters. Lying to yourself matters, but not more or less than lying to others. We lie, we hide and we deceive because we think we´ll protect ourselves. But what are we so afraid of? That someone is going to see us for who we really are? Or that someone else is not going to agree with us?
“Don´t be too careful. You may hurt yourself.” Byron Katie
Here are some things we can do to take our power back and stop apologizing for who we are.
Do not diminish the impact of your decisions
The worst thing we can do is to give our power to make decisions for ourselves to someone else. Our decisions ARE powerful. In our universe, the law of cause and effect doesn´t take a vacation. Every time you make a decision, you are deciding on the direction of your life. If you wish to be a kinder person and the next thing you know you are gossiping about your friend, you´ve taken a decision. If you want to live a healthy life but then you don´t make time for exercise, you´ve taken a decision. If you wish to have a loving relationship but then you give your heart away for the millionth time to a person that doesn´t embody half of what you´re looking for in a partner, you´ve taken a decision. And sooner or later you´re going to suffer the consequences of your decisions. I am certainly an expert at surprising myself by how naïve I can be sometimes. I make the same bad decision over and over again and each time I hope for a different outcome. The price I have to pay for the decision of not being true to myself is always high. It costs me inner peace and integrity. Then, if I want my power back again, I have to reevaluate the decision I´ve taken and the impact it had on my life.
Oh baby, baby, it´s a wild world ….. so get clear on who you and your values are
There is no quicker way of loosing you integrity than not knowing who you are. The world is not going to set the standards for us. Everyone else is busy trying to figure out what their life should be about. If we do not take time to get clear on what our standards are and what it is we believe to be true in our heart, we will become confused and distracted very easily. If you think that your life doesn´t have meaning, it´s probably because you didn´t give it one. What is it that you value? What are the things you treasure? Do you wish to become a good parent or a great kindergarten teacher? Do you prefer to live your life close to nature or do you love the atmosphere of a vibrant city? Is it your priority to ensure a decent living for your family or you don´t want to have children at all? It´s up to you to decide what is important to you. No one else has the right to choose for you, because it´s you who has to live your decisions out not them. It is you, who is going to live up to standards you´ve chosen for yourself, not somebody else. Set your standards as high as they need to be to reflect who you are. Never let the world set the standards for you. They won´t value you until you value yourself. The world is just reflecting back to you, where your standards are at.
Stop listening to others
You wonder how to get clear on who you are? There is only one way to do it and I have to warn you, because it´s not an easy one. You have to get still. You have to become so still, that the meaningless chatter of the world won´t be important to you anymore. You´ll be able to accomplish this by setting aside a few minutes every day, when you´ll be able to listen to the truth of your own being. Your heart has all the answers you´ve been looking for. They are not out in the world, neither are they in some else´s head. All your answers are waiting inside of you, ready for the day when you´ll gather enough courage to finally listen to them. They may reveal themselves in small ways. You don´t have to expect something grandiose happening at first. The answer may be as simple as go for a walk every day or do your best at work and see what happens. We´re so scared of listening to our heart that we try to find the answers everywhere else. We don´t come home to ourselves until we are so tired of our suffering that we can´t carry on the same way as we did before.
Be consistent, even if (especially when) no one else is watching
It´s the same with integrity as with anything else we want to become good at – we have to practice. And practice takes time and consistency. More often than not, we were used to act in the ways that were harmful to us. If we haven´t been blessed with a sudden epiphany then we will have to work on our decisions every single day, again and again. At first, practicing being who you know you are capable of, may seem unnatural or hard but it´s only because lying to ourselves is comfortable, while embracing our true nature takes courage. Integrity is being who you are all the time, no matter the circumstances and no matter what others are going to think of you. People with integrity treat everybody the same way. It doesn´t matter whether they depend on somebody else or whether somebody else is depended on them. The only person you want to impress is yourself, because in the end, you are the only person who can decide on your happiness and who has power over you.
I wish you a life of meaning and integrity,