Choosing integrity means choosing to change yourself for the sake of connection with others as much as it means choosing to honor yourself even when it results in disconnection or distance with others.
What usually comes to mind when we think of choosing our integrity is making a choice that is aligned deeply with our values when some outside force is presenting us with a choice between those values and connection with the other person.
But we are stubborn creatures who’s capacity to objectively assess ourselves is very limited. We often mistake our behavior or identity for our values.
But these things are not one in the same.
When you say
“take me as I am or leave me” without examining the root of “who you are,” you’re foregoing opportunities to do deep work that can bring you into greater alignment with yourself at the same time you strengthen your connection to others.
Sometimes choosing to change things about ourselves is actually about moving into greater alignment with our values.
Sometimes it’s about taking responsibility for the things we need to do to be the person we want to be.
Sometimes it will be the challenge of someone we value that will call us to step into these changes.
Because sometimes they will see the barrier between ourselves and the person we want to be better than we can.
Sometimes relationships with the people we treasure will challenge us to choose integrity. But not in the sense that we need to reject what someone is looking for in us.
Sometimes we will have to choose integrity by softening our defenses and allowing ourselves to be moved and transformed by another.
It’s something many will go their entire lives never experiencing.
Both people who bend themselves compulsively for fear of conflict and people who refuse to bend at all.
But when you’ve
experienced something like this, it truly is life changing. You understand the paradox that to be solid in yourself, you need to be flexible too.