Living with Integrity: Committing to Source Before Reaction ๐ŸŒŸ

Integrity…I would have thought living in integrity was not that hard a gig. Seems I am wrong. Integrity is the toughest gig in town. Not only that but it is rare. It demands of you your best. And more. It demands that you say no to many things, and yes to some of the really hard stuff. It comes at a price. Most people donโ€™t pay.

What is integrity?

To me, it means wholeness. Completeness. I first โ€˜gotโ€™ integrity while working with building โ€‹Bucky Fullerโ€™sโ€‹ models. Take a bunch of toothpicks and jelly babies, and build a cube. Notice when you do that, the cube cannot stay upright on its own. It collapses. Yet we have built our maths and architecture around cubes. Now build a triangle. Something feels good about a triangle. But it has no dimensionality. So add one extra point and create a tetrahedron. Bingo…now you have a thing that holds its shape. It has complete integrity. It has an inside and an outside, meaning it is a system. It is the minimum system in Universe.

A complex system, like a human being, has integrity when it is holding its shape. When it is doing what it was designed to do. When it is complete. Given the changing state of the larger ecosystem we find ourselves in, holding our shape requires extreme attention. It means that our intention matches our words, our actions, and the effects our words and actions have. The signal is clear, from source to delivery to destination. There is no dissonance, no misalignment, no fracturing, no distortion. Yep, this integrity thing is hard.

It has to start with Source. The Source of our signal.

What is that?

Most of the time, we get distracted by the signal itself. Like an amazing light show, the brightness takes our attention away from the Source. We have become signal-responding creatures, rarely focusing on the Source. We take a painkiller for a headache, eat too much to hide our guilt or shame and react to things without taking the time to focus on what is really going on. We jump to conclusions and make assumptions. Accumulate ickiness because we do not speak up sooner. Or get distracted by the bright, shiny object before we know from where the bright, shiny object came.

How many times have you had the experience of getting riled up and jumping to conclusions, only to find that you were missing a significant piece of the information and that when you had that information, the view changed so significantly that your reaction was ill-conceived?

Hmm…let me name 30% of the waste in human productivity spent in this type of miscommunication. Let me name my own getting trapped in a miscommunication like this way too many times. It is a nauseating place to be. The judgements and criticisms we wield without knowing the whole, and yet, for some dark reason, we humans find it attractive. That smelly, icky gossipy place. It always harms. Subtly or overtly. This is why the โ€‹conversation for understandingโ€‹ is so important.

How does it feel to be on the receiving end of another personโ€™s neglect of going to the Source of your actions? Of jumping to conclusions, making assumptions, blaming or shaming without having the relevant whole? Or of being completely negated and discarded after weeks, months, or years of attention, focus, and applied energy being put into something that deeply mattered to you because the other party did not take the time to go to Source, to see the whole, to honour your history, your effort, your dedication?

Bucky said that the necessary ingredient of Synergy is to start first with the whole. With the Universe. Until we have the complete picture, we have only a partial and incomplete view. Our legal system is supposed to be built around this – innocent until proven guilty. But do we live by this?

Have you ever felt devalued? Discarded as a human of value? I have. Many times. It feels horrible. The question is…how many times have I done this to others? And this is a question I am sitting in now. As someone who has built my identity around integrity, I have known that the price of so doing would be high. That this conscious choice would open me to be held to account at a level most uncomfortable. That I would have to demand of myself the kind of personal reflection that few stomach. That I would have to stand in the heat of others who see me in my shadow. And own it all. All.

Yep…this integrity stuff is hard.

So I circle back…what is the Source of your signal? What is the intent you project in the world? And what comes back at you that indicates the truth of the projection? Is it aligned? Where is the dissonance? This is our feedback. Like it or not.

As we teach in Dare to Care. True communication is the response we get.

Do your words match your intention? Do your actions? Or do you say one thing and do another? How do you cheat on yourself and your own integrity?

And are you game enough to surround yourself with people who will hold you to your highest expression of integrity, your most magnificent wholeness? These are your true support team. The ones who will never step over anything, but will bravely and respectfully point out when you have strayed from your wholeness. Ideally, they will do this from a place of deep care for you. Sometimes they will not. Sometimes it will be the total stranger who will shock you from your own treachery. Hard medicine, but a gift nonetheless.

Integrity is a tough gig. The toughest. Which is why it is so important.

To declare my current focus on living with integrity, my commitment is to work at going to Source before I get into reaction, make judgements or jump to conclusions. To have the whole view rather than work from the partial. If you notice me stray, I am up to being held to account around this.

Buckminster Fuller


Conversation for Understanding