Integrity, Honesty and Truth
We all have our own personal values.
Some of us find our values just kind of existing in our life and other's take a lot of time creating, choosing and forming their values.
Many years ago, I found myself floating through life.
My values depended on who I wanted to impress and what outcome would serve me better. I didn't have a solid, strong sense of values. My parents never bothered with such things. Their main concern was that we all graduated from high school and then whatever we did after that was "our business." They had done their job. Putting a roof over our heads and clothing on our backs.
My spiritual beliefs were confused because I had lots of questions with no answers. As a child I hung out at a Baptist church near our home. The minister would buy me ice cream and have little chats with me. I never understood what he was talking about, but I liked the ice cream! Every few months, my parents would send me to Sunday school at a neighborhood church or not at all....it varied with their moods. If someone in the community challenged them because we were "spiritually void" then I would find myself at yet another church, attending another Sunday school. The effort that it took to get me there usually dwindled away within a month or two.
I was so confused because I couldn't understand how God could be sitting in the sky making decisions for us and if we weren't good enough then we had to go to hell. No one was able to give me answers to my questions. I wanted so desperately to believe. I wanted to fit in and say, "Yes, I believe in God, the Bible and Jesus Christ," but in my mind, everything just didn't fit.
Years later, it happened. I was driving down the road, in Burnaby, British Columbia and all of a sudden I understood. I understood the concept of a higher power. I realized that my beliefs don't have to fit into anyone else's, they could be my own. I could pick and choose from all that I knew (and would soon discover). My way didn't have to be the wrong way just because no one else walked my road. Being eclectic was okay!
My 'spiritual awakening' (as I like to refer to it), was the beginning of me finding out who I was. I finally understood that our values make us who we are and why they are so important. I was able to believe, in my heart and my mind, in God/Goddess/All-That-Is.
I decided truth, integrity, clarity, compassion and love were the foundation or root of my new-found beliefs.
Truth. If we are always honest and truthful then people learn that they can trust us. They can trust what we say and what we do. There is a lot of power in truth.
Integrity. Holding my words, thoughts and actions up to my integrity created respect from my peers. Walking my talk was difficult at first but has become easier with time. There is a lot of personal power in integrity.
Clarity. Learning to say NO when you mean NO, rather than saying yes because you thought you needed to please another. In not using clarity you sabotage your truth and your integrity. Learning to, not only give clarity, but to expect it from others is an important value. Time and energy isn't wasted when you practice clarity.
Coming from a place of truth enabled me to be a more empowered person. Coming from a place of integrity has enabled me to be a more trustworthy person. Clarity has assisted others in hearing me. Bringing these three points of truth, integrity and clarity together have enabled me to be filled with more compassion. Compassion which is based, not on rescuing energy, but from the greater vantage point of detachment and greater truth.
Love. Love is the root of this foundation. Love is light. Love IS truth. Knowing that I come from love creates self-respect. Speaking clearly, with lots of love added in, assists others in hearing me because they know that I'm coming from love, not ego. My compassionate self is so full of love that other people feel it through my words without even knowing me. I have spoken at meetings and have had strangers approach me afterwards, thanking me for sharing what is in their hearts. My compassion touches them.
My column this month is on teaching our children our values and I can honestly say, from experience, that I am glad that I take the time to share mine with my children.
Blessed be. Aleesha Stephenson