Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Living With Integrity

I met a lovely woman the other day and through the course of her reading, her father eventually showed up.  He was there the whole time.  I could feel him on the periphery, but he was reluctant to come through. His energy was filled with apologies, but it didn't appear at first as though the daughter wanted to hear that.  She told me that he'd left the family when she was young and she rarely saw him after that. I'm sure he had caused her and the family a lot of pain when he was alive, but the energy he gave me was filled with repentance, total responsibility for the pain he caused and a sincere request for forgiveness.

Now, you might be thinking, well, good.  He should feel that way.  And I agree, but what was unusual about this gentleman is that most people who need to ask for forgiveness will blame their behavior on other people.  Other dads in similar readings, for example, have blamed their own painful childhood, or the nagging wife they were married to, or their finances.  The list goes on and on.  But this gentleman died, went to the other side, completed his life review and took total responsibility for his wrongdoings.  This is a huge step in his spiritual growth.  One thing that stayed with me is when he said, "I wasn't a man of integrity, and I am sorry."

A person of integrity is someone who is honest -- with themselves and with others -- even when they don't have to be.

I'm shown in my readings that this counts big time for our spiritual growth.  If we're at the grocery store, and our butter rings up as .19 cents instead of $1.90 and we say nothing, this is compromising our integrity and therefore hindering our spiritual growth.  If we gossip about a friend that we think is making a bad decision but refuse to be honest about our concerns with that friend, we're compromising our integrity.  When we run away from difficult situations as my client's father did, we're sacrificing our integrity big time.  The small and big moments in our life count the same on the other side.  A lie is a lie is a lie.

In one of my favorite books, The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz, he describes the First Agreement as this:

Be Impeccable With Your Word.  Speak with integrity.  Say only what you mean.  Avoid speaking against yourself or gossiping about others. Use the power of the Word in the direction of truth and love.

Truth and love.  These were two things my client's father ran from, and he's heartily sorry for it now.  Is it too late?  I don't think so.  He's really owned up to what he did and is truly sorry.  Luckily, my client is a generous, open hearted woman who seemed receptive to consider forgiving her father.  If she can, she will help her father to truly grow and heal and in doing so will allow herself to do the same.

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