Not only do we live in a living universe, but the living universe lives within us.
— Duane Elgin
photo by Margit Bantowsky
Awakened activism invites us to bring forward our authentic self in service to and celebration of the wellness of all beings…and authenticity invites consideration of integrity.
In the Trillium path, our emphasis on mutuality is one way to bring ourselves into integrity with others – acting with kindness and courage while being open to hearing how our actions impact others, and making appropriate amends.
Another level of integrity involves our relationship with ourselves – noticing whether we are acting in accord with our nature, our values, and/or our intentions.
As a result, integrity requires me to be honest with myself, and honest with others, to the best of my ability. Perhaps most deeply, then, integrity hinges on my authenticity and knowing what my needs and wants, and my limits and longings are.
These things are hard to know if I'm not in touch with my body's intelligence - emotions as well as sensations. Dissociation breaks the bridge with my embodied, felt-sense of when things are "off" or "aligned," or a felt-sense of my "yes" and "no."
Once I know what is really true for me, the next challenge is to respect my truth and to speak and act on its behalf. As you probably know all to well, this is often easier said than done! And the converse is also true - respecting other people's truths could be seen as a form of social integrity.
Commitment plays a role in integrity as well. Following through on commitments I make with myself and others helps me live in alignment with my word and intentions, and honors the trust others extend to me.
A generous way to view integrity is through a developmental lens. This capacity usually grows naturally as we mature out of our youthful self-centeredness into a more generative orientation. However, we all know examples where this hasn't happened. Integrity becomes more accessible as we gradually reduce the dissociation and soften distortions caused by trauma and cultural conditioning by diligently doing our shadow work.
The guided inquiry on this video explores some of the nuances of integrity, what it requires of us, and what gets in the way of accessing it. To take full advantage of the depth of this offering, be sure to have a pen and paper handy for journaling!
They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.
Margit Bantowksy, MA, is an artist, coach, teacher and facilitator.