Know Thyself: It gives you the minimal chance to be authentic.
Definition of Integrity: the quality or state of being complete, undivided: spiritual, or aesthetic wholeness: organic unity: completeness.
It is a simple thing, wholeness that is undivided. It is also a very elusive quality. Emotional Integrity is having our heart, mind and will unified. When we are in our emotional integrity we can act without hesitation or doubt. The phrase of, “my mind says one thing, but my heart says another”, may be all too common in our lives. When this happens our will is divided and our actions hesitate with conflict of doubt in the mind and emotions.
When we live our lives from a place of Integrity we do not doubt ourselves. There is no second-guessing our actions or our words. Sometimes I see people try to superimpose a sense of integrity into their decisions by refusing to consider a second opinion. This can be the pretense of integrity in the name of not appearing weak or not living up to our own image of what we believe we should be. This is the ego’s version of integrity. The mind has the desire to believe that everything we do is in our integrity. Often we work very hard to make ourselves believe it we have integrity. But, it is a false image of integrity. If we have to convince ourselves that we are acting in our integrity, we are likely to be wrong. When we are in our integrity, our mind does not have to tell us what we are doing is right. The heart and will know and the mind follows without a doubt. Real emotional integrity doesn't come with a sense of being right. It comes with a feeling of love.
When we are acting from our Integrity, what we could call our authentic self, we don’t try. We don’t’ have a need to try. We just take action. We don’t concern ourselves with whether what we are doing is the right thing. We also don’t have a need to justify or defend what we are doing to anybody. This includes ourselves. The action comes from the heart and is with love, that is how we know it is true. It also comes with humility because we are acting on behalf of love and not for ourselves or a sense of righteousness. Emotional integrity Words don't corrupt this authenticity with chatter in the mind.
There are not many men or women of integrity. Most people second guess themselves. When a person with emotional integrity makes a mistake, or fails in their endeavor, they don't judge themselves. They know they did their best and the mind does not create an internal conflict with self judgment. This mental conflict is a break from wholeness and love for one's self.
The break in integrity is the division of the mind itself. Our mind says one thing and our mind says another thing in contradiction with the first thing. We look at something we did in the past and we think, “I shouldn’t have done that.” Then we try to justify what we did because we don’t want to accept our own judgment. We defend what we did to ourselves. We say to ourselves, “We’ll it really was okay because I got (blank) out of it.” We project a negative opinion to ourselves, and then we defend ourselves against our own opinion. We can see that our mind is not in integrity. When our mind is divided with conflicting thoughts then our emotions are split also.
Often in dreams the mind is represented as a house. It is the structure of beliefs in which we live. A mind that is not in Integrity is like a house divided against itself. It cannot stand. We find this to be true when we engage in the quest for truth. It is frightening to face the truth because when we do, it feels like our house of beliefs will fall. We misinterpret this to mean that we will fall because we identify and attach so closely with what we believe.
This is the time for the courage of a spiritual warrior. A spiritual warrior must have the courage to face and accept the death of their beliefs. It is with this attitude that we can let go of our house of false beliefs. When the false beliefs break, we find that the truth is still standing, because it can stand on its own. The truth does not need us to believe in it in order to survive.
After the fall of the false belief system, we can create a new dream, based in Love and Truth. In the ancient mythologies this is the resurrection to a new life after death. The death is metaphorical for the transformation of our mind and emotional state. It is like the Phoenix that is formed from the ashes. In this process our physical body does not die. The spiritual warrior does this process with their bodies intact. We need our body in order for our mind to have a place to function, dream and create.
It is the intent of the spiritual warrior to let go of their false beliefs in order to eliminate the conflicts in the mind. She surrenders to death what is not the truth. She let's go of her attachments to mental concepts that trap her in a mind of conflict. After a person lets go of their old beliefs, they can recover their Emotional Integrity. When we recover our emotional integrity we create a new relationship with our heart, emotions, and our physical body. It is based completely in love. In this process we discover that we are not really what we believe we are. We are the force that creates all the ideas, images, and emotions of love. We are the force that creates. We are Life.
When you realize that you are the force of Life that moves through all things, you exist everywhere without separation, then you have recovered your integrity. This is a Spiritual Warriors quest. It is the quest of any one seeking a life without conflict or suffering.
The time to measure (not judge) whether you or someone you know is in their emotional integrity is not when things are going well. It is too easy to wear a mask and believe our story. The time to measure the depth of your emotional integrity is when someone is challenged by circumstances.
One way to determine whether you are in your Emotional Integrity is by how quiet the mind is during chaos. With your mind quiet you have a greater likelihood to be present with your emotions and not be caught up in stories in the mind. A second indicator is the amount of love present. Being in your emotional integrity means being present with the feeling of love within yourself almost all the time. I say almost because there are a few exceptions where you would feel emotions other than love and still be in integrity.
In this article I use the terms Integrity and Emotional Integrity to mean the same thing.