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When we look up the word integrity in the dictionary, we get two definitions.
The first one is this: 1. the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
But we also get a second definition, one that precedes the concept of the word as a moral issue. The second definition explains integrity as a matter of physics: 2. the state of being whole and undivided. In other words, to have integrity means that we were whole and complete.
The first definition of integrity, as morality, is subjective because it’s about right and wrong. This definition of the word is hard to prove one way or the other. But, the second definition is more concrete.
The second definition highlights the collective imbalance we are being faced with right now. To a large degree, we have been operating with fear as our guide. We have been viewing individuals as separate from one another. We have been considering all perceived problems: illness, natural events, and death, as problems to be solved.
We’ve gone to work, swiftly, to do and solve, until we think we’ve found the answer. We’ve applied the same formula of thinking, analyzing, and doing to every external situation that threatens our internal balance somehow.
But through this, we have forgotten. All this thinking and doing has further separated us from one another because we have excluded being. We have excluded the fact that things like death are inevitable, one way or another. We have excluded acceptance and allowing. We have excluded qualities within us and the world that are in opposition to the doing and solving, yet part of the whole that makes up the entire universe.
In our quest to conquer and solve, we’ve been considering ourselves different from the “other”—that which we seek to control. We’ve forgotten that we are all connected. We are a part of nature, a part of each other. And it is this remembering that guides us back to our joy. It’s no wonder stress is at an all-time high. It’s not the pandemic. It’s the loss of understanding that we are all one, that we all come from the same source of energy that extends beyond space and time. That there is no death; there is only change.
It’s not to say that science doesn’t have its place. It has and continues to provide incredible breakthroughs that benefit the planet significantly. But viewing everything through the lens of science alone lacks integrity in the broader context. We have to find a way to allow, to be, to understand that, at times, solving isn’t the solution.
So what do we do?
We remember to be. We find small ways to receive more, allow more, find more presence. We remember to be still and to experience the peace within ourselves that lies below the surface of chaos in our minds. This is the place where we remember our oneness, our connectedness to all.
Here are a few ideas on bringing into balance the doing and being in your life right now:
If this is something you’ve struggled with in the past, take some time to understand how it works. There are many tips and meditations for beginners on the internet and places like Insight Timer. Meditation can feel challenging at first, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. From there, the more you see the benefits, the more you are drawn to doing it. Try to make it to this place.
2. Get outside.
Yes, it might be raining, or snowing, or cold, or uncomfortable in some way—but unless it’s unbearable, don’t wait for the perfect conditions. Bundle up; grab an umbrella. Being outside among trees or near water will help you remember the infinite love that exists in everything.
3. Start small.
We spend so much time signing petitions and fighting for external change while forgetting what’s in front of us right here and now. Take care of yourself. Eat more whole, plant-based food. Sleep more. Simplify, and learn to say no to things that drain your energy. Help a neighbour. Really listen when your child is talking to you, and understand the connection they are craving when they act out or fight with a sibling. Water your plants. Brush your dog. Create healthy boundaries with a toxic friend. Do something unexpectedly kind for your partner. Make your bed. Don’t underestimate the power of caring for yourself and your immediate surroundings with compassion and consistency.
The world cannot reach a place of balance, of collective integrity, with more doing alone. We are shifting paradigms into something new, yet something that has always existed as well. And one way or another, we will get there.
But the more we can understand this right now, the happier we’ll be.