I actually don’t remember much of my childhood. I have bits and pieces of memories strewn throughout my younger years, but most aren’t sharp or full of rich detail.
And since I don’t have a strong memory to begin with, I always think it’s odd when I remember something clearly that is a fairly insignificant event or just sorta random.
But this is one of those sharp memories for me.
At the church I grew up in there were two sisters who headed the youth group…and whom I adored. They meant the world to me and were very influential in my childhood.
I remember a conversation a small group of us were having with one of the sisters, Phyllis. Somehow we had gotten on the subject of integrity. And I can recall as clear as crystal her way of explaining it to us (I can actually even see the detail on the wallpaper in the room we were in!).
She said simply,
“Having integrity is like being a solid brick of pure gold. No matter where you slice it, and no matter where you take a sample, it is always the same. No part needs to be hidden, and no part acts differently than another.”
For some reason, even at a young age, that completely blew me away.
I can remember imagining what that would feel like to have such complete, through and through integrity– what freedom that would give. It made a huge impression on me.
And it is one of the guiding principles I hold myself to still today. When I’m feeling in-congruent or off-center I often ask myself, where is my integrity falling short? And I work to get back to whole as best I can.
What does integrity mean to you? How does it show up (or not show up) in your life?