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Truth, Integrity, & Authenticity

This is the third installment on a series on the topic of Truth.

Truth, Integrity, & Authenticity

There is more than one road you can take on the journey of truth, and so far, we have mostly been talking about orienting to truth in the physical world.

Today we will continue on that road, and talk about how integrity and authenticity come into play in a truth journey.

You can also orient to truth in your physical body as well as spiritually, which we will cover in a later post.

No matter what road you take on the journey to truth, the same thing seems to happen. When you orient to truth in one area of your life, it gets carried over into other parts as well.

You bring your body to truth, and the outer world around you changes.

You set boundaries in the outer world, and your inner world starts righting itself.

As above, so below… as within, so without, right?

In our last post, we talked about boundaries, which is essentially how you stay in truth in regards to the people living around you.

Today is more about truth in regards to your own self - the truth of integrity and authenticity.

Integrity and authenticity are actually very similar, in that the core of each is honesty and truthfulness.

Authenticity is about being true to your beliefs, values, thoughts, expressions, and emotions. It's expressing who you are openly and honestly.

Integrity is about adhering to moral and ethical principles. The whole do the right thing, even when no one is looking.

When your thoughts, ideals, actions, and outward expression are all in alignment, life is good and flowing. When you are doing or saying things that are not in alignment with truth, you become divided against yourself.

A house divided against itself cannot stand. - Jesus, in the book of Matthew

(For someone who considers themselves spiritual and not religious, I sure have been on a roll with Bible verses lately … hold my beer, there is more to come 😂)

Some clues to know if you are divided within yourself:

- You find yourself holding back and not sharing your true thoughts

- You are not sharing what lights you up in the world

- You are not speaking up in meetings at work

- You are doing work that you don't like

- Someone asks how you are doing and you say, "Fine…" even when you are not

- When you try to be like someone or something to fit in

The common thread in all of these is that you are changing yourself to make other people or situations more comfortable.

“Believing things that aren’t true for us at the deepest level is the commonest way in which we lose our integrity. Then suffering arises—not as punishment, but as a signal that we’re being torn apart. The purpose of suffering is to help us locate our internal divisions, reclaim our reality, and heal these inner rifts.”

“If you don't walk your true path, you don't find your true people. You end up in places you don't like, learning skills that don't fulfill you, adopting values and customs that feel wrong.”

 - Martha Beck, The Way of Integrity

The way back to truth, and authenticity and integrity, is to merge your inner and outer world. You do this by slowly bringing what is inside you to the outside world.

In the Old Testament, Esther was not actually Esther's real name.

Esther was Hadassah, which means myrtle tree. Myrtle is a medicinal plant that is used to make healing ointments. Spiritually, it can mean oneness or righteousness.

Righteousness often gets a bad rap, but righteousness simply means spiritual oneness with G-d.

"Esther" is thought to be forged from the Hebrew root s-t-r, which means "hide", in reference to the queen's hidden identity.

Many know the familiar story, where Esther hid her true identity from King Ahasuerus and the people of her new land. Only when she came forward as her true self (Hadassah), to expose Haman's evil plot, was she able to save her people, the Jews, from annihilation.

Technically, there was nothing wrong with Esther taking on "Esther". She took on a new name in a foreign land. She did what she had to do to survive. It may not have been safe for her to be Hadassah, to be openly Jew in a Persian royal court.

Maybe you have taken on a new (somewhat altered) version of yourself to survive in the world.

At some point, though, the old version of yourself, that you used to cope and survive the world, no longer serves you.

- Maybe you need to give up the job that you don't like

- Maybe you start sharing with your real thoughts and feeling with your friends

- Maybe you are more truthful in your marriage or partnership

- Maybe you start sharing more of your true self with the world

When Esther came forward as Hadassah, she was spiritually signifying the merging of the inner and outer world. When you live your truth authentically, you are essentially giving death to the ego, to the untrue parts of you. You then experience a personal resurrection, where you are now living in the light, in righteousness, in the truth of who you are.

The way that you merge your inner and outer world is through truth. Bringing what is on the inside of you to the outer world. Authenticity and integrity is a natural byproduct of that truth.

Each day I have been asking myself: How can I be a tiny bit more truthful today?

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

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