What Are Your Anchors? Part III: Integrity

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I shared about my first two anchors, connection ?( https://daralevan.com/what-are-your-anchors/  ) and acceptance? (https://daralevan.com/what-are-your-anchors-part-ii-acceptance/ ) and today is the third entry in this series. I also hope you read and connected with Eli’s Story ?( https://daralevan.com/elis-story-connection-acceptance-and-living-her-truth/ ), which was published during Pride Month. My third and lifetime anchor is integrity.

Anchors hold me steady when my world gets rocked. They ensure that no matter what happens to or around me, I will be ok. I will persevere. And I will not only survive, but I will learn, grow, and thrive.

For me, integrity is everything. It is a driving force in every choice, decision, and action. Quite frankly, I was supposed to post today’s blog yesterday; I committed to and have published every Monday since August 2017. I felt overwhelmed, exhausted, and deeply concerned the past few days for myriad reasons. I am dedicated, passionate, and a stickler for following through on a promise, so I was even more upset that this is tardy.

And then I realized a few things. First, I needed to forgive myself and stop with the hypercritical self talk. Secondly, this is a timely example of how I live with integrity. It would be disingenuous to compose and share something fluffy rather than meaningful solely based on what I “should” do.

So here I am! I apologize for the delay, but as always, there have been lessons learned along the way. I used to think integrity was simply synonymous with honesty. I do not anymore. Certainly honesty is integral when speaking about and acting with integrity.

But I think there is an important distinction. Honesty is being truthful. Integrity encompasses truth. In addition, it is having and living with unwavering ethics like a boat anchored at sea.

It’s often said that integrity is “doing the right thing even when nobody is looking.” I absolutely agree! We’ve taught our children this since they could speak. I believe there is more depth and breadth to this definition.     What is the “right thing” anyway? Do you follow strict societal expectations? Or perhaps for you the “right thing” is guided by religious or cultural norms.

As I continue my journey, I’ve asked myself those questions and more. And I feel finding the answers requires knowing who you are, what you stand for, and also what you will not tolerate.     Integrity, for me, means being true to myself. It means being truthful and transparent with others. It means advocating for others who cannot do so for themselves. And it means being accountable for my actions; in other words, “owning my s***.”    

I am increasingly frustrated by those who say one thing yet their actions clearly contrast and conflict with their words. It makes me incensed to observe others who are chameleons, changing and blending with situations that serve them best. I could carry on with a rather self-righteous rant, but that is not my intention.   

Am I perfect? Oh hell no. I am on a mindful, conscious path. Connection, acceptance, and integrity are my anchors. In recent years, I’ve had tough times in which I nearly lost sight of my lighthouse. It has been terrifying. But my anchors held me steadfast as I found my way home.      

What are YOUR anchors? How do you stay afloat and on course when you could drift or drown? You can comment here! Or please email me at dara@everysoulhasastory.comor reach out on my website at everysoulhasastory.com I’d love to hear from you!

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