Signs you might be out of integrityJan 17, 2022
When you look at the dictionary definition of integrity you'll see it has two meanings.
1. Being whole. Undivided.
2. Being honest and truthful.
I see you working hard, juggling home and work. You value honesty and integrity. You tell the truth.
You also sometimes don't tell the truth to protect someone's feelings, to avoid conflict, or to pretend there isn't a problem. I get it. You'll get no judgment from me.
The practice of living in integrity isn't a box you check. It's a practice. I thought I had it figured out and was living in integrity. I'd become a Reiki Master in 2015 and became a ThetaHealing practitioner in 2016. It went well until my ego got in the way.
In 2017, I was offered a job directing a prestigious children's choir. Taking the job would mean putting my business on a slower track while I built the choirs. I thought I could handle that.
But by 2019 I was working 60-70 hours a week working full time, running this business, and directing the choirs. I was exhausted. But the more I worked, the more I needed to work. The demands on my time seemed to grow even faster than my success. More meetings, more to do, more people asking for my time. It was good. And it was hard. The adrenaline rush was intoxicating and addictive. By day, I buzzed around from thing to thing energetically. That changed at night.
I would wake up in the middle of the night wondering what it was all for. I wondered if the prime of my life had already come and gone but I’d missed it because I was too busy. I kept wondering… if I wasn’t busy doing all these things for other people, what would I want? Would I keep doing what I was doing? And if I stopped all I was doing, would the people I was spending time with still be there? That left a pit in my stomach and tears in my eyes.
I felt alone. Lonely. Invisible. Sad.
I had my close circle of friends around me. I managed to spend time with them and with my family. But the people I was spending the most time with were from work. I felt like the only time those people saw me was when I was conducting a choir or giving someone else something they needed.
Then I got sick. Pancreatitis caused by a gallstone blocking my cystic duct resulted in me being seriously ill, having emergency surgery, being hospitalized for 6 days, and having 3 week (really it was a 6-month) recovery.
All of my work came to a screeching halt. People had to cover for me at school, in the children’s choral organization and my business stopped cold while I recovered.
As the doctor left my hospital room on the first night, I felt more scared than I’d ever been. My condition was life-threatening. I had been experiencing abdominal pain off and on for a couple of weeks, but I kept on pushing through.
When the door closed behind the doctor, I was totally alone. I hadn’t seen my daughter since that morning and it was now 8 pm. My mom had driven me to the hospital because I was too sick to drive, but she’d since gone home to my dad. I was alone.
I began to cry silent tears as I watched the door close. I wondered what the hell I’d been thinking, pushing myself so hard. My daughter needed me - I had sole custody. I’d risked my life and felt like I’d risked hers, too, in a way. I blamed myself for not going to the doctor sooner, for not slowing down, and for working too much. I made a promise to myself and to my creator that night that if I made it through the surgery - which was still days away because I was too unstable - I would make changes. I had let the seduction of outward success be my guide and stopped listening to my body and my intuition.
That night I promised I would live authentically and follow my intuition. I would follow my heart. And I would listen to my body.
What happens when you are out of integrity?
When you are in integrity you feel lit up, inspired, energized, calm. People are drawn to you magnetically. It's true that not everyone will like it because you could be challenging the status quo. But when you are in integrity, it feels like freedom.
In my experience, and for the people I coach, the thing I see that most takes you out of integrity is using what we do to define who we are. Our work (or parenting) becomes our identity. It's a little trick the ego plays on us: defining our worth and identity from the outside.
Using what you do or where you work to define your identity works for a while. But it won’t work forever because our roles are always changing.
You know how quickly you can be replaced at a job, right? You no sooner leave an office telling someone you’re resigning than they're on the phone putting out feelers to fill your position.
The same is true of parenting. The only constant of parenting is constant change. Your children’s needs change and how they need you changes.
When your identity is wrapped up in your work, your identity is in other people’s hands, even if you don’t want to admit it.
You step into roles like mother, daughter, sister, friend, and wife. And roles like teacher, nurse, lawyer, entrepreneur. Those are things you do. They aren’t who you are.
One thing I’ve seen happen during COVID is a longing for integrity and authenticity. You long to be more real, more connected, more human. I can see you searching for comfort and connection, for more meaning and more purpose.
It’s a scary feeling to realize the things you thought you wanted aren’t making you happy. I want you to know you aren’t the only person feeling it.
Have any unexplained symptoms? They can be a sign you are out of integrity.
Your body talks to you all the time. Sometimes you learn you are out of integrity with physical symptoms because you've learned to mute the emotional and mental symptoms. This shows up as strange aches and pains, low energy, skin irritations, digestive troubles, headaches, weight gain, trouble sleeping, wounds that won't heal, etc.
When you go to your doctor and she can't find a physical reason for these symptoms, it's likely there is something your body is trying to tell you.
Not all signs are physical. Sometimes signs you are out of integrity show up as anxiety, discontentment, depression, or lack of motivation.
There’s a quiet voice inside of all of us that wants more.
More love. More purpose. More meaning. More connection. Maybe your little voice doesn’t keep you up at night as mine did. Maybe your little voice is showing up in stomach troubles, skin rashes, headaches, or fatigue.
My job as your empowerment coach is to help you get into integrity, to help you to align with YOUR personal truth. I’ll help you one step at a time.
Your job this week…
Come up with an answer for “Who are you?” that doesn’t link to your role or job. When you get your answer - tell me! I want to hear from you! Pay attention to how you feel physically when you get this answer. There is lots of information in your body. Write it down so you don't forget this... because this is going to be big.
Want to get into some juicy goodness? Here are some additional questions. Grab some paper and a pen. Connect to the energy around your heart, then ask the loving voice connected to your heart…
- What am I curious about? What things do I wonder about? What am I interested in?
- What does my heart want me to do? What do I need to have more of? What do I need to let go to?
- Then say to yourself, “I choose to look at this situation through the lens of love, and let love guide me.” Say it over and over. Keep writing until you feel like you are done.
I don't want you to DO anything other than ask yourself questions and choose to see through the lens of love. This is an information-gathering stage.
And keep asking. Jot down what you come up with so you can look back in weeks or months to see the changes in your thinking. And in your physical body.
Ready to learn more? Join me for a free masterclass “Surviving to Thriving: Improve every relationship starting with the relationship you have with YOU”.
I want to hear from you... WHO are you? Email me at [email protected].
All my love,