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Living with Integrity

Webster defines integrity as 

  1. firm adherence to a code of moral or artistic values: INCORRUPTIBILITY 

  2. an unimpaired condition: SOUNDNESS 

  3. the quality or state of being complete or undivided: COMPLETENESS.

How do you know you are living with integrity? There are so many signs that alert us when we are off the right path. It would be impossible to list them all here, but let's try a few to get you thinking about where your integrity is.

Can you sleep at night? Do you overeat? Do you have negative thoughts/memories about someone you have had an interaction with in the last week, month, decade etc.? Do you drink to "take the edge off?" Is your temper short? Do you feel happy more or less of the time? Do you struggle with guilt or shame? Do you feel like a "bad" person or hold onto "righteous resentment?"

I hope these suggestions got the engine running upstairs. And please know, I never intend to harm or shame you.  That's not what the article is about.  It's about giving yourself a gift that is rightfully yours, INTEGRITY.  It's yours for the choosing.  I have a simple recipe you can use for living daily with integrity.

Here it is:

Whatever I "THINK,"

Whatever I "FEEL"

and whatever I "DO"


I know, I know, so many of you are already saying, 

"Yeah, but ..."

"But Dave, what about that guy that nearly ran me off the road today?"

My response: "What were you thinking, feeling and what did you do in response? What are you going to do with those thoughts and feelings?"

"But Dave, my wife had an affair. Are you saying I shouldn't be angry about that?"

My response: "How are you going to let those thoughts and feelings effect your life today and tomorrow, next year and 10 years from now?"

"But Dave, I've done horrible things.  How could I ever have integrity?"

My response: "Jesus gave his life so that you could have integrity.  Is your judgment above His?"

"But Dave, when I was a kid my father beat me over and over again."

My response: "How will you allow your thoughts and feelings over those events shape your life positively or negatively from this point forward?"

In our culture we have made great strides to bring victims into the light and out the shameful dark closets they've hid in for too long. We've seen our TV role models step up and share abuses they have experienced in their lives. All of this has done good things for you who've been wronged, but as changes can go, they often go overboard.

And yes, we all do terrible things.  This is true.  But, I still say to you that integrity is yours for the having.  It's a matter of choice.  It's up to you.

You are so much more than your wounds.  You are so much more than your mistakes.  Please be gentle, with yourself and with others.  Living with integrity is a wonderful recipe for being happy and having peace. Have some!


Dave Turo-Shields (email)
Veteran Psychotherapist, Trainer & Life Coach

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Great Quotes

"So near is falsehood to truth that a wise man would do well not to trust himself on the narrow edge."

~~ Cicero


The Integrity Meter

One quick strategy to see  if you are living with integrity is to visit a couple of the posted sites below and do a "check-up."

Keep in mind that living in integrity is like having harmony in your life.  It's similar to feeling like you're "in the flow."

Here are a couple of sites I discovered with some fairly decent integrity quizzes or statements on integrity.


Women's Integrity Quiz

Coaching Site Integrity Quiz

Wise Words and Meditation On Integrity


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Announcing: Due to request  I am now offering therapy sessions by telephone.  If that fits with your needs, click below to email me for more information.

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