By Gwendolyn Esco Davis
When you acknowledge the integrity of your solitude, and settle into its mystery, your relationships with others take on new warmth, adventure and wonder. John O’Donohue
As we take time to clear our heads, we can assess our relationships with a spouse, with a child, a friend, with our staff, our business, our job, to where the current path is leading. We clearly see that we could not have gotten where we are today without coming the way we came. There aren’t any other roads — there aren’t any shortcuts. There’s no way to descend into this pathway, this journey. The landscape ahead is covered with the fragments of broken relationships and broken promises of people who have tried before. They’ve tried to jump into effective relationships without the maturity, the strength of character to maintain them.
When we are not present with self and instead listen to others telling us who we are or what we should be, this will eventually cause conflict with the inner self. And, the result will cause in almost all relationships, difficulties that are rooted in conflicting or ambiguous expectations around our roles and goals: personal and professional.
The missed benefits of not knowing self is when expectations are not clear and shared; people begin to become emotionally involved and simple misunderstandings become compounded, turning into personality clashes and communication breakdowns. Having integrity is one of being honest with self and others. Being comfortable with that which you truly are.
The place to begin building any relationship is inside us, inside our circle of influence — our own character. As we become independent, proactive, centered in correct principles, value driven and able to organize and execute around the priorities in our life with integrity, we can then choose to become interdependent. The outcome of knowing self is an enormous benefit that no one can buy at any price. Once you have built character with self, then and only then can you become capable of building rich, enduring, highly productive relationships with other people.
It takes character to be proactive, to focus on our circle of influence, to nurture growing things, and not to pull up the trees to see how the roots are coming. Unclear expectations in the area of goals also undermine communication and trust.
Integrity includes but goes far beyond honesty. Honesty is telling the truth — in other words, conforming our words to reality. Integrity is conforming reality to our words, meaning, keeping promises and fulfilling expectations. This requires an integrated character, a oneness, primarily with self but also with life.
One of the most important ways to manifest integrity is to be loyal to those who are not present. In doing so, we build the trust of those who are present. When you defend those who are absent, you retain the trust of those present.
Integrity in an interdependent reality; you treat everyone by the same set of principles. As you do, people will come to trust you, although they may not at first appreciate the honest confrontational experiences such integrity might generate.
By manifesting integrity, people will trust and respect you if you are honest and open and kind with them; they’ll realize that you care enough to confront and to be trusted. In the long run, I am convinced; that the benefits of integrity are to be trusted and also to be loved.
Namaste, Peace & Blessings,
Gwendolyn is the owner of G. EscoDavis, LLC, is a certified life coach and business mentor. Her practice focuses on women entrepreneurs, although she also coaches men business owners. Her delivery uses a holistic/organic process. She has a monthly newsletter for her members, and has mentored/coached businesses and individuals for four decades.