Integrity: Masculinity’s Meta-Virtue (Part 2)

(This is Part 2 of a Series.  Click here to read Part 1)

We all live in an unconscious collective agreement in maintaining a very low bar of integrity. 

This unconscious agreement acts as an inoculation to keep us desensitized from how integrity leaks can keep you from offering your greatest gifts, sharing your deepest heart, and living up to your full potential and expression as a man.

Integrity leaks don’t have to be big, criminal activities. It’s the small day-to-day leaks that we ignore and avoid that keep us locked into unhealthy patterns. Over time our integrity leaks compound and end up creating more suffering for ourselves and others.  

Integrity in Word

How many times have you said to a friend, “hey, I’d love to meet for coffee sometime,” and then you never follow up? Or make a plan for a romantic dinner with your partner, you show up late and gloss over your lack of integrity with a wimpy “sorry, I was late, there was traffic.” 

In the scheme of things, being late for dinner one time is obviously not a big deal, but the little stuff adds up, and it erodes people’s trust and respect for you. 

Most of us are unwilling to take full responsibility for the lack of integrity in our word, especially when it comes to the stuff we think is “no big deal.”Instead of owning up when we are out of integrity, we gaslight and accuse them of nitpicking or being too critical.  

Status Quo

Unless you are a man on the conscious path, most likely you do not want to be pointed out for low integrity. And…we do not want to call out others for their lack of integrity because it means we would have to be held to the same higher standard. So, we tolerate, ignore the casual promise that is broken, and allow verbal slop coming from our mouths and those around us.

Words Are Divine 

The words we speak are like casting a spell. They have the power to create, manifest, and birth realities into being.

The power of our word can birth a Shakespearean play or start a war. Our words and our speech create our life. 

What you speak is the temple at which you pray. Science has discovered this; quantum theory knows this; the old mystic traditions know this. 

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” ~ Proverbs

Every time you speak, you are creating. If you consistently speak things, take no action on them, and give no further awareness to them, that’s an integrity leak.

To really awaken and unleash your full creative power, you must be willing to improve and upgrade the power of your word.  

Your words create your thoughts→

    Your thoughts create your actions→ 

       Your actions create your habits→ 

          Your habits create your identity→ 

             Your identity creates your persona→ 

 

If you are consistently unconscious with your word, living with low integrity in your word, then you will continue to create more of what you don’t want.

Take this seriously. Take this in as a message and a reminder to level up the integrity of your word by increasing your intimacy with how you speak.

For a man, being in integrity with your word is the foundation for self-respect. Once again, this is not about being perfect in your word; it is about committing to upgrading and practicing conscious speech.

Integrity in Action

Not following through on your commitments and responsibilities is called an incomplete cycle (or incomplete action). For example: not following through on a commitment you made to a friend or not paying a bill you know you needs attention.

Ignoring, avoiding, and perpetuating incomplete cycles causes a huge energy leak. 

An incomplete cycle is like a leaky boat and can lead to disaster. Completing cycles, however small, gives us access to more energy to take on new responsibilities. Completing our cycles leaves us feeling liberated and empowered and can open the gates to more abundance and creativity. 

What guides your actions?

When you look closely inside of yourself and reflect honestly on your past actions, you can probably recall more than a few instances when you acted (or reacted) from a place that you know was not the highest. 

Maybe you acted from fear and took an overly defensive action that harmed another person. Maybe you acted from lust in an unconscious pursuit of sensual pleasure and in doing so, sabotaged an opportunity that could have been more fulfilling for you. Or, perhaps you acted out of anger, and it caused a rupture in an important relationship.

Integrity in action requires a conscious commitment to practice acting from a place that aligns with your highest values and intentions. 

To do this successfully, you have to be aware of your triggers (in the moment!) and come back to your heart, back to your center, back to consciousness, before you act.

Integrity in action, of course, includes the Golden Rule and what we all know as basic ethical standards for being a good person (don’t steal, don’t cheat, don’t inflict harm).  But it doesn’t end there!

Once again, aside from the big things, low integrity action could be:

  • Not cleaning up the broken glass that you dropped in the parking lot.
  • Not filling up your buddy’s gas tank after borrowing his car.
  • Buying something from a company that you know has racist affiliations.
  • Being disorganized in your financial life. 
  • Behaviors that you don’t think are hurting anyone – like getting drunk the night before a big team soccer match.

Integrity in action also means our actions are not just self-serving. 

Integral action considers the impact it may have on all beings. We are all born with this spirit of love and altruism – it’s who we ARE on a fundamental level.

Integral action = loving action.  

Integrity is an expression of love. Love is realized and experienced in our quest for wholeness, and it is made manifest through the actions of our hands and feet. That is to say that it is through small conscious actions that love is felt.

Love is…. bringing a glass of water to a thirsty person, changing the oil in our grandmother’s car without having been asked, putting your hand on your neighbor’s back when he is feeling the grief of loss.

Love is the action of the hands and feet.

Integrity in Your Condition

Our condition speaks to a state of structural integrity – in this case, the structure of your energetic state. Think of yourself as a Being and all you encompass (your blood, your bones, your mind, your energy, your health, your creativity). Now, think of that Being as a spaceship. Yours can be a 1950’s horror movie ship or a more modern high-tech one.  

The point is that this ship’s purpose is to propel you through space toward your goal.  

If there were an integrity breach in your ship’s hull, life support systems would become destabilized, oxygen levels would be depleted, and your ship’s survival would be at risk until you restored its structural integrity. Even if you survived, your chances of reaching your destination would be severely compromised without restorative action.

Being out of integrity in your condition can refer to your health or maybe being disorganized in your financial life. Perhaps it’s not dealing with things that require your attention or buying from companies that pollute the planet.

Integrity is an energy.  An integrity leak may not even be about something that you’re doing; it may be something you’re NOT doing or avoiding that’s perpetuating suffering for yourself or others.

When your condition isn’t in a state of high integrity, it’s more difficult for you to take action on the path to health and wholeness. If you continue to ignore the integrity of your condition, once again, it lowers your view of yourself and perpetuates low confidence, which perpetuates low integrity, and the cycle spirals on from there. 

Brother Hang on one secthis is a long blog so take a moment to stand up, stretch and take a breath…

Ok, let’s get back to reading.

Leaky is Weaky

Let’s face it. When we are leaky with our word, with our highest values, and our heart’s intention, we can be left feeling weak, powerless, and ashamed. 

Ok, take a moment right now to notice what emotions and sensations arise in your body when any of these statements feel true for you.

 – I haven’t honored my commitments.

– I said “yes” to things when I wasn’t “ALL IN” and made a half-assed agreement.

– I hid my true intentions – I said I wanted one thing, but I was actually running a covert manipulative agenda to get something else.

– I was engaged in activities that didn’t honor my heart’s ethical code (or remained silent about injustice when I knew I should have spoken up. 

I am not following my inner guidance  – I know the action that needs to be taken, but I willfully am not taking them.

What emotions come up for you? Shame, anger, fear?

Here’s the rub!

When you’re leaky and out of integrity in your life, these underlying feelings are always present within you (in your body), even when you don’t consciously pay attention or notice them. 

Lack of integrity perpetuates low self-esteem, low self-confidence, low-energy inauthenticity, and the list goes on. 

Self-respect creates trust in yourself!

Your integrity leaks eat away at your self-respect. Every time you are out of integrity with your word and ignore it, you unconsciously judge yourself. You can’t escape the effects that low integrity in your word has on your self-esteem. 

You can’t hide from yourself.  You can try to avoid and distract yourself from that heavy feeling that arises in your body when you’re out of integrity with your word, but, inside you know when you’re bullshitting. The truth is felt in your body! 

A man that ignores the importance of integrity inevitably has underlying and usually silent negative self-judgments and self-deprecating thoughts.

When you are consistently out of integrity, even when you aren’t thinking about it, you are perpetuating low self-esteem. You can’t hide from yourself – you can only distract or ignore, but underneath, you know the truth, and it eats away at your self-respect. 

Like the man I mentioned in my story (in part 1), if you are unwilling to be honest around your lack of integrity, you will be SEVERELY challenged in your personal and spiritual development.  

Integrity is a practice

Here are some suggestions to upgrade your level of integrity:

  • Create a powerful intention for yourself around being a high-integrity man. This intention can act as a source of inspiration and a reminder of your commitment. You need to be able to articulate your intention for being a man of greater integrity. You need to be able to speak it out loud and feel it in your body. 


  • Surround yourself with people of high integrity. As the saying goes, you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. Choose to be in relationships with people who hold you to a higher standard of integrity (rather than low-integrity enablers).


  • Tell the truth. To yourself and to others around you -skillfully, without harming anyone. 


  • Commit to your word.  Right here and now, make the commitment to uphold your agreements. If you cannot follow through on an agreement, don’t just drop the ball.  Renegotiate a new agreement.


  • Be bold. Be willing to take actions that are outside of your comfort zone that you know are in your highest integrity.  


  • Make a list of your highest values and ethics for your life. Consciously invoke these in your life, live and act from an ethical foundation. 


  • Be of service. When we are being of service, it helps pull us out of the “me, me me” show. It can connect us to the bigger picture of altruistic intention and help us act with high integrity.  Being of service is a powerful way to pull us out of our negative, low-integrity states of being. 


  • Spiritual Connection. When we’re able to connect and surrender to a higher power, it gives us the strength to move through the blocks that keep us from living a high-integrity life. Spiritual connection is essential in returning to our wholeness, which is the foundation of integrity. 

 

Most importantly, integrity is cultivated through self-love. You cannot reach wholeness and honesty without self-love and self-kindness. 

-Commit to being kind to yourself, 

-Hold yourself to the high standards you are truly worthy of.

It’s not self-love to beat yourself up for being out of integrity. But ignoring your integrity leaks is not an act of self-love either – it’s just avoidance. 

Commit to being a firm, loving guide for yourself.  

Honor your feelings and intuition. When you have an integrity leak that comes into your awareness, see it as an opportunity to practice self-love, and make an immediate conscious course correction.