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Staying in our integrity

   One thing I have worked at doing in the last 6 months to a year is staying in my integrity.  What does that mean?  It means that stay true to who and what I am.  It isn't always easy as that we can get pulled off course for so many reasons and in so many different ways.  I find that the universe always gives me opportunities to test myself and I am always amused by their outcome.
   Case in point.  Last spring when the girl scouts were selling girl scout cookies, I was stopping by a grocery store on my way to a girlfriend's house.  I saw that they were selling cookies and for some reason I felt myself getting annoyed.  I don't know why, I always buy a box to support the little troopers even though I don't eat sugar.  But this day, I just didn't want to have to hassle with them.  I thought "I can just say that I already bought some".  But then, I knew that was stepping out of my integrity because it wasn't being honest.  And I wrestled with it.  Finally, I came to the conclusion that I didn't have to feel guilty if I said no to them.  And that really, when the little girl asked me if I wanted to buy cookies, all I had to say was "No thank you".  That's not too hard to do........right.....that innocent little face looking at you when they ask?????  But I was determined that I would stay in my integrity and stand my ground and not lie to the little pumpkin.
   And here is the amusing part.  Because I had made the decision to stay in my integrity, when I got to the front of the store, the little girl turned around and started talking to her mother and I didn't have to deal with it at all.  The universe gave me the test, I passed and it let me off the hook.
   Even better, when I was in the store, after that moment of annoyance in the parking lot, I shook it off and got the cash out to buy a box on my way out.  And so I did.  When I got to the girlfriend's house, I gave her the cookies and she said, "Ah, I see the girl scouts got you.  I just tell them that I already bought some."  I burst out laughing at that and told her the story.  And I also mentioned, that in order for her to stay in her integrity, she could say "No thanks, I already HAVE some."  That's certainly the truth.
   That is just one example of the opportunities we have on a daily basis to stay congruent and to be impeccable with our word.  So many times we tell "little white lies" because we feel shy or guilty or bad to tell the truth.  It does not have to be hurtful.  It can be easier than we think to just be honest.  If someone invites us to go somewhere and we don't want to go, it is not that difficult to just say no thanks.  I have found that I appreciate when my friends feel comfortable enough with me to be honest and to tell me what they are thinking.  I am not hurt if they don't want to do something.  I would much rather they say no and enjoy their time doing what they want to do instead.
   Life is meant to be joyous and we should do the things that make it so.  We can get bogged down with the "have to" list, which few of the things really need to be done right that moment.  I try to live each day as if it is my last and I have to do a life review at the end of it.  I rarely want to say, "Gosh, I wish I would have worked harder, spent less time with my friends, spent more time cleaning the house, etc."
   For me, life is about being authentic, about the joy of others in my life and of having fun and creating fun memories for others.  But that is just me, and so I live my life according to what is important to me.  So ask yourself, what is important to you?  If it is your children, then spend more time with them and less time stressing out about things.  If it's your pets, then enjoy them.  If it's your work, that do what you love to do.  Finding the right balance is important.  Being mindful of the beauty of life and what is going right in it is amazing.  When something is going wrong, look at it as an opportunity to make a change.  It is the universe trying to tell you that you're out of balance, so listen to it and make the shift back into being happy and in heart space.
   Love and light.................

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