Good morning lovelies!!
I am up at the crack of dawn today because our new puppy Max has decided that it's time to go outside and play. At five in the morning there is a certain sort of still-life peace in the air before all the cars start whizzing by on their way to work. I can hear hubby quietly snoring upstairs, the cats are still curled up in bed with him and for a few more minutes, our other dog, Betsy is content to just lay perfectly still, free from being harassed by Mad Max. All is well in the world just before the sun creeps up along the horizon and real life begins to unfold.
I never used to be a morning person, but for some insane reason the last few years I find that my head is crystal clear at this hour of the day and I have found that all of my best ideas seem to bubble up to surface as I am enjoying my first piping hot cup of delicious coffee. Today, due in part to an on-going challenge I have with an acquaintance in my world, I spend a great deal of time thinking about integrity. I like to think that I am the sort of person who always makes a conscious effort to do the right thing. I smile at strangers. I extend a little extra "nicety" when I can sense that somebody is having a less than perfect day! I make a habit of honestly and authentically treating people exactly the way I hope they will want to treat me....but every once in a while I come across somebody that I like to call my "monkey wrench." These are the people that challenge me the most because I can't really understand why they do the things they do. I know, I know....it's not my job to understand everybody I come in contact with, but honestly, sometimes people really wear me down, and today looks like its going to be one of those days...if I let it!
When I decided to create a blog I spent a great deal of time trying to decide what I wanted it to feel like. I knew I wanted to inspire people by sharing good news....good thoughts and a constant source of positive thinking. I'm not a whiney girl by nature and tend to face every situation in my life with solid footing, the perfect shade of lipgloss and always wearing my big girl happy pants. But sometimes no mtter how hard we try to stay positive, we run into somebody that makes you stop and wonder if maybe they were in the wrong line when INTEGRITY was being handed out....and perhaps this contant "doing the right thing" is over-rated when it would be so easy to cross over to the dark side for a moment just for a tiny bite of instant gratification. In these situations, when it would be so darned gratifying to call somebody out on their bad behavior or dishonest practices I find that I have to work really hard to remind myself that I am a better person than that...
Oh sure, the fantasy aspect of walking up to some people and shaking them....asking them why they can't just be nice and do the right thing might feel good for about 30 seconds, but ultimately I know it's not going to change anything. I know that I will walk away feeling lousy and disappointed with myself for letting somebody get the best of me and the person on the receiving end will just go about their day as they normally would; completely unphased by my insane behavior.
I think the big challenge really is rising above the junk! It gets frustrating and feelings are hurt, but at the end of the day, if we don't have our own unconditional integrity, then what are we left with? Real life is not always about birds chirping, clouds in my coffee and little cartoon rabbits and deer following me around..... but for me, what matters most is not that high school mentality of getting even, or getting my fair share, instead, it always comes down to a matter of personal responsbibilty for my actions, and yes, integrity. I find that a lot of times, doing the right thing is not the easiest thing, but when all is said and done, I get the peace of mind that comes from knowing that I don't have to be embarrassed or disappointed with myself for how I handled something. I get to lay my head down knowing that even when it feels like a constant up-hill climb, once I reach the top of that mountain, and I will reach it.....I will get to look back down the side of that journey and know that I climbed all the way up by doing the right thing and not hurting anybody else along the way. THAT is the sort of victory that matters because it's the good sort of pure satisfaction that only shows up when integrity has been a guide post!
Real life is tricky and not always easy to navigate when there are people around us who don't really have our best interest in mind, but how we choose to handle those sort of situations ultimately lies at our own feet! I hope that if you run into somebody who seems a little short on "nice" you will remember to be true to you and hold on to the knowledge that you would never want to achieve something by hurting somebody else or compromising your own heart and integrity along the way. Isn't there an old saying something along the lines of "give til it hurts?" Well some days it feels like that, but the reward at the end is most certainly worth it!!! You and I might not always get the best seats because we don't push our way to the front of the line, we might not have the biggest client list because for us it's not all about the money, its about the quality, and maybe we will never be featured on Oprah's new network for being Ms. Wonderful, but we will know in our hearts that when it came right down to it, we did the right thing every time.....and you just can't put a price on integrity my friend!
I wish you a day of good decisions made from your heart and the satisfaction that comes from living a really good and heart-filled life!