If you don’t define who you are, how will anyone know how to treat you? When people hear the word integrity, they think moral uprightness or someone with a great deal of pride in their steadfast beliefs. In a different context, integrity can also mean “the state of being whole and undivided”. When we’ve solidified our integrity, we can stand any flux or change. As Lincoln famously stated in his Gettysburg Address, “a country divided against itself cannot stand”. So, in a world of confusion, transitions and events that fundamentally change us time and time again, how can we be a unified self without being narrow minded and stubbornly unchanging? Yet, we are expected to change as our lives go on and often this change for the best. Unification doesn’t mean having strong values in this case. Unification means that you’re on your own team; that you do what’s best for you at all times; that you are not fighting a battle with yourself; and that you take care of yourself by giving yourself time and room to relax and grow. Whether it’s through an addiction, mental disorder, a past we aren’t proud of, unrealistic expectations of perfection or something else, we are our own worst enemies. But we don’t have to be. You may be divided between your past and what you want your future to be. This is where we wobble until we cannot stand. While embracing our past, we must plan for our future. As we accept change, we find integrity in our self growth. We are not changing identities, we are merely improving. You are a state unified against negativity, a whole person that doesn’t need anyone to feel complete, working hand in hand with yourself. This is to have integrity, something that is earned, not naturally given. Though it requires a lot of us to find and define our values, when we do, the roller coaster of life’s ups and downs becomes worthwhile. Integrity helps us overcome anything and helps give our fallbacks a purpose. This is the secret to dealing with hardships, defining yourself as your team. This is growing into integrity, “the state of being whole and undivided”. Integrity can also mean honoring your word to yourself and others. Integrity is crucial in building relationships, in employment, families, etc. Integirty can be viewed as the blood line of a human being. Specifically that integrity we have with our selves. Without integrity nothing works. The spokes of a bike wheel are all in integrity but if one spoke breaks the intiegrity of the wheel is broken and the wheel won’t work up to its full potential and may even be wobbly along the way. This is a microchasm of human beings. If we are out of integrity in our lives it will affect that area of our life and others as well. It is like a ripple effect. If there is one thing I would tell all human beings to work on is being in integrity with themesleves and everyone they meet. It can be tough sometimes but in the long run, life works so much better when it is based on integrity.

Marty and Caroline, Life Circles