Fragments of Integrity

A little girl saw a tall mountain in the distance. Her heart leapt and she longed to be on top of the mountain. Every day she observed the rain, the sun and the clouds as they passed across the summit. And every day she cried because she was living on flat ground and she had no idea how she could reach the mountain.

The more she cried the sadder she became and the sadder she became the more she cried.

People became worried about her. She was pale and listless. She spent many hours looking out of the window into the distance and no one knew what was going on in her heart.

She told her parents that she wanted to visit the mountain. They said “Of course, darling, we’ll go one day.” They didn’t understand.

She explained to her grandmother that she needed to go to the mountain. Her grandmother laughed and said, “That’s for big girls.”

One day she had enough.

She put on her boots and walked out of the house, along the road, with the mountain far in the distance ahead of her.

And she smiled as she walked.

Integrity is a fold in the universe. It connects two points that appear to be far apart – what I know and what I do, or who I could be and who I am, or where I want to be and where I am.

It’s not my purpose to close the gap. The tension between those two points creates growth.

If I’m everything I could be there’s nowhere for me to go any more. If I’m doing everything I know, I’m no longer learning.

I’ve discovered over many years that what I do always moves in the direction of what I know. There are times when the gap between the two feels large and uncomfortable and other times when I feel greater congruity within myself, but can I honestly say one of those is better than the other?

No, I can’t.

The only true integrity I’ve ever found is in accepting myself wholly. That means accepting all the aspects of myself I long to reject. And specifically it means not blaming myself if I’m failing to live up to who I believe I could be.

Because blame makes the gap bigger which hurts more.

Sometimes I make life far too hard. Where’s the integrity in that? Too serious, too worthy, too important.

I find integrity in being lighthearted.

As I write I find I want to create something beautiful, stunning, surprising. As if there’s no integrity in that which is anything less.

How deceptive.

Caught in my desire to be a good girl.

And yet, is that so wrong? Would it be better if I wanted to be a bad girl?

If I’m whole I’m good, bad and everything else between. I’m the best and the worst and also extremely average.

And so I find myself publishing fragments of integrity. Whispers of a wholeness that requires nothing of me. Hints beyond judgement.

I can’t speak of what I’m touching because it’s not there. It’s elusive. It’s already slipped out of my grasp.

And yet it’s real. It’s holding me.

Am I whole or am I part?

I am all of that.

 

This was taken from a project in the Gamechangers GO program that I co-founded and am currently participating in. We are exploring wisdom, purpose and integrity.

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