Sometimes it seems like the hardest person to be is yourself. Firstly, because it’s so easy to get caught up in who everyone else thinks you should be, and we’ll totally address that another time. But right now, I’m thinking more because it’s hard to recognize when we’re not practicing what we preach. I’ll give you two examples that I caught myself in this week so you can see what I’m talking about.
I lost my father six weeks ago. As this isn’t the first time I’ve lost someone really close to me, I’ve been pretty vocal about all of us (my family and close friends) recognizing that everyone will be at different stages of the grieving process at different times, and being respectful of each other’s grieving. For example, if I’m in denial while someone else is sad, I could come off as uncaring, where that’s completely not the case; I’m just at a different part of the process. And in actuality, I have been in denial because my dad lived a couple hours away so I don’t really feel his absence on a daily basis like someone who is closer would. I’ve been waiting for my stepmom to say she’s ready to go through his things to give me that closure. Yesterday, however, I found out she was all but done with that task. I was pretty upset. It had nothing to do with the stuff. It was about the process I felt I needed, to move from denial into the next stages of grieving. But at the same time, I needed to mature into my own integrity too. I needed to practice what I’ve been preaching. I needed to respect her grieving process. My stepmom is a Christian for whom the resurrection holds a great significance. She needs to feel a fresh start this Sunday at a soul level. She can’t do that surrounded by her dead husband’s things. I GET that. I’m an organizational guru. I GET THAT!
Another little lesson in integrity life wanted to remind me of this week is that how people treat you has more to do with their journey than yours. That’s one of those things I know and I’m quick to remind others. However, when I noticed people I care about were no longer friends with me on Facebook I started obsessing about why. Has that happened to you? You see something you think they’d like so you go to tag them, but they’re not there? So you think, “That’s weird.” Then you start overthinking anything you might have done to make them disconnect from you. That’s where my head went. Then I had to have a talk with myself. “Dear Self, Their journey IS NOT ABOUT YOU!” I have no idea why they’ve adjusted their social media life and it’s not my business and I shouldn’t take it personally and it shouldn’t affect my mood or self esteem (or yours when you’re in that position). Yes they have disconnected from me but how they treat me is about their journey, not mine. I need to focus on my journey.
It’s really easy to have wonderful, zen, holistic ideals. It’s not always easy to live with them. Integrity is when you can recognize that what you think and what you live should be the same. The word integrity has the same base as the word integer which means “one” or “whole.” I’m trying to be a whole person where my thoughts and actions match. And celebrate the process along the way.