Someone said to me once that I am all about integrity.  At first I was not sure what he meant, but as I began to look at my choices and actions I realized that this is a thread that is deeply woven into who I am.  I am not one to lie or be dishonest even in those little white-lie situations that will not harm anything or anyone.  When I say I am going to do something, I do it, which can sometimes make myself and those in my life crazy.

Keeping my word is the foundation of integrity. Integrity is defined as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness; the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished. 

Three reasons integrity should be a value in yourself that you cultivate:
1. Honor

For me, doing what I say I will do is a matter of honor. I wouldn’t feel good about myself if I didn’t keep my word. It would not support my intention for integrity. My word means something to me — I do not take it lightly and I expect the same from those in my life.  Perhaps I hold this standard too high at times and learning to trust others is part of my own path to honor. Do you easily say you will do something and then fail to follow through?  Do you allow others in your life to not keep their word?

2. Trust and Reliability

Demonstrating integrity builds trust and reliability. Without these values the relationship will struggle to be deeply rooted and flourish.  Continually being let down by others who do not keep their word leads to feelings that they are not reliable which leads to doubt and for me, ultimately where sadness enters. When there is doubt in a person or relationship the uphill battle to nurture the relationship can be exhausting. Friendships and deeply connected relationships thrive on trust.  How do you build trust in your relationships?

3. Respect

Do you respect for people who do not keep their word or who live without the value of integrity?  I end up feeling skeptical when someone says they are going to do something and who repeatedly show that they do not follow through. I try to give them grace and understanding but over time the reasons become excuses. Giving the benefit of the doubt helps in the beginning but over time their actions will be their truth. In return, if you want to feel respected by others, then you need to say yes when you mean yes and no when you mean no, and not allow your fear of rejection or your fear of being controlled to get in the way.  If you want to live with integrity then you must seek out friends and a partner who will honor this value and give you what you need. Do you give and receive respect?


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