Integrity


A friend asked me to lie for her the other night. As I love her dearly, I promptly agreed with little thought to what was involved. End of conversation. Then a weight settled in my chest. I can do this for her, can’t I? She is a friend and the lie of no consequence to me. For several days, I’ve managed to ignore the thoughts going through my mind. How do I lie? What will I say? Why ask me?

A few years ago, I would have been uncomfortable but I would have gone through with it because I agreed to do it. I would have reasoned that I had given my word after all. I would have believed that our friendship was more important than a lie to a stranger. Not anymore.

I spent many years as a pretender until one day I found myself so lost that I imagined myself as an empty green glass bottle of wine. It feels like a lifetime ago yet the image is hard to forget. When I peered through the glass, I saw dried up dark liquid and dregs. That was me. All that was left of me. I had to do something. I had to change. I had to find myself.  I had given up so many of my dreams and values to fit into a life I was never intended to live that I didn’t know myself any more and I hadn’t done anything I enjoyed in months if not years. Once I established a few core things about myself, I resolved to be me. In other words, I stopped lying to myself and to others.

Tonight, I had to face the fact that what was nagging at me wasn’t what lie I would tell or how or to whom but that the weight in my chest was my body telling me that my integrity was at stake. So I’ve left my friend a message and, hopefully, when she gets it, she will understand. Personally, I feel much better.

Would you have reneged? What have you done to put your integrity in jeopardy? What signals does your body send you when you’re on the wrong path? 

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  1. #1 by Mike Schulenberg on June 3, 2013 - 8:22 PM

    I hope your friend understands. If she really is your friend, I’m sure she will–and that she wouldn’t want to put you in a position that makes you uncomfortable. While it’s important to help our friends when they need it, it’s also important not to compromise ourselves in doing so.

  2. #3 by Linda on June 3, 2013 - 6:45 AM

    Personal integrity is sometimes all we have and is the very best of us. You did the right thing and I certainly hope your friend understands this….if a friend doesn’t, perhaps they are not a friend afterall.
    I have recently been putting my own integrity in jeopardy….oh for the most usual of reasons….a man. My body tells me I’ve crossed the line mostly with a headache.
    More importantly I have always known when I am acting out of a place of balance, peace and love when I feel this perfect calm and that is the most wonderful feeling in the world.
    If you don’t have yourself, Patricia, you are of no use to yourself….and of little use to others…..or perahps, just to be used by others. Hang tight. Your path is true and straight.

    • #4 by Patricia Caviglia on June 4, 2013 - 12:27 AM

      Thank you Linda. I hope you have returned to your true and straight path. If not, you know what you need to do. It’s not complicated. There are no buts, ands or ifs. Being true to ourselves is always simple and serene.

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