Would you prefer being a person of integrity or for everyone to think you are? Recently, a friend posed a similar question. It was similar in that the underlying question could be, how much of your self-worth depends on how other people see you?

In the external, we cast an image. Sometimes, we get stuck there. Is the person everyone sees still true? Was it ever? Perhaps you’ve found an identity that presents well. Or, maybe you’ve tapped into the Sacred within and grown beyond that image. When you feel your past image slipping away, do you transform yourself or control how people think of you?

If living falsely in the outer world is to satisfy an unfulfilled emotional need, will the satisfaction last? Is the inner world any better, if you go inside to hide?

Oxford’s definitions:

Unfulfilled – not having fully utilized or exploited one’s character 

Integrity – the state of being whole, undivided

In any situation you can:

Put yourself out there or go within 

Give an answer or ask a question

Make a mark with something you’ve done or by who you are

Assuming that the intention is integrity, marrying your outer and inner selves lessens the risk of living a split life. Appropriate boundaries aside, does your facade stand between your essence and the people around you?

*Love others as yourself…as yourself. Love is patient and kind. It is not arrogant or rude. Do you treat yourself with such esteem?  

When we love ourselves, we are willing to face our fears, accept our imperfections, forgive and even laugh at ourselves. Then, we are able to humble ourselves toward other people.

Picture yourself at peace, standing confidently, regardless of others’ opinions.

By contrast, falsely living in the external makes us defensive. It demands that we constantly prove ourselves. Too much focus on me, in the internal, holds us back from participating relationally.

Keeping up an image that is either untrue or outgrown is exhausting. Though moving through to integrity (wholeness) will release a flood of emotions, it breaks us open to deep healing.

Making Spirit Flesh* 

In what ways can you be kinder, truer to yourself?

*taken from Mark 12 and I Corinthians 13