Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Integrity x Expression

So in an interesting turn of events this week, I got called out for not having 'integrity' because I dared to stand up publicly to a company's unethical practices.

While at first I had to almost laugh at this company, who didn't want to pay me for work provided and were quite happy to stay that way until I called it to their attention, I then took a moment and really sat down to think about it. Do I really have integrity? And what actually is this word that was bandied about in such a derogatory way from them towards me?

Let's be honest, while we may all try to live a good life, sometimes we are led astray.

So a couple of definitions - the quality of being honest/ the state of being whole and undivided.
In years past I will agree to some degrees of dishonesty - those early party years of mine were perhaps not my finest moments! Thank god for age and the wisdom that comes with it, right? ;)  But throughout years of therapy, practice & self-study, I've come an idea of my space in this world - of what makes me 'me', and what I will and won't stand for. And my mum has given me the thumbs up so that's a good barometer for me!

Gone are the years where I'd work for others in jobs I don't believe in. Gone are the years I'd be made to feel bad because others would use language and a deluded sense of self to put me down but call it 'authentic' (despite no actual authenticity behind their words nor in their actions). Gone are the days that I see imbalance and unfairness in the world and I'll sit back and take it - both directed towards me, and to those not strong enough to stand up for themselves.

And I fully appreciate that standing up for ones beliefs comes people who won't want to hear it. And who will fight back. But what happens when these people make peace with you (because you called them out on it) but still continue that behaviour? Well, I've made a direct choice that I will continue to stand up for a balanced and loving world, where  people are given the chance to shine and be rewarded for being an amazing human - despite their body shape, colour, nationality or messy hair.

I am pleased that I have found my space in the world today, through years of hardship and turbulence, and being told that I wasn't good enough. Because friends, I am good enough. In fact, I'm better than just 'enough' - and so are you! Don't let anyone dull your shine beloveds, and know that there are many ways to express oneself, with everyone's way a little different to the next.

Sweetheart, Don't play by the rules of another just because they speak louder! 
My friends, trust your instinct, stand up for yourself in the way YOU feel empowered, and shine on. 

As Audre Lorde shares, 

"...the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don't miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution." And at last you'll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.” 

And to those who question it - just because I might say things you don't want to hear, doesn't mean I have no integrity. May we all honour our own truths!

1 comment:

Lisa Heinze said...

Beautiful! In my books, you have more integrity for speaking up for yourself, not less. (And I love that you added a quote from Audre Lorde.)

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