#Lifelessons101 -Living with integrity – staying true to yourself in the middle of drama

Some weeks are amazing. Some are mediocre. And some challenge you to the point of meltdown. Can you guess which type of week I have had! Yep, gold star to you, I had a challenging week. And this time it wasn’t even my fault. I mean seriously. This week I got caught somewhere in the middle of a drama situation and had to fight with myself constantly to not get swept away. And what was the cause of all this ? Well believe it or not it, the challenge was living with integrity.  Or rather maintaining my integrity in a potential exploding“drama” situation.

Life loves to challenge us. It’s how we grow. And the kind of situation I was facing this week gave me many opportunities to do that. It got me thinking that it’s all well and good saying we want a life of integrity. To stay true to our ideals and  internal moral code. However when the proverbial brown stuff hits the fan how do we hold onto to our integrity? For some of us this is easier than it is for other. Mr T is completely black and white when it comes to listening to his internal compass. Where as for me, this week I was surprised to find that in certain situations I find it more challenging. Especially when there is high pressure from my emotions. In fact the emotional rollercoaster was the hardest part. It took me completely off road, in a metaphorical sense; and it was only through a lot of soul searching and good advice that I managed to find my way back to my internal compass. Realign with my moral core and act from a place of integrity.

I wouldn’t say this week has made me an expert on maintaining my integrity amidst  drama. However it has certainly given me a crash course experience on how to do my best to maintain my integrity under emotional pressure. A great teaching and test of my core values.  If you are in a similar crisis and need some guidance on staying true to yourself in the middle of an emotional drama here are the steps I took to rebalance myself. Simple and straightforward actions you can take to be sure you are living your truth and walking your talk when life throws a spanner in the works.

Seperate the emotions and the facts

For me the emotional response was the main distraction from my personal integrity.  It was not until I identified why I was reacting so emotionally that I got clarity into situation and could deal with the facts. Here for me the greatest tool is always free writing. I poured my emotions out on paper, with the goal of finding out why this situation (which was actually not involving me as such), affected me so emotionally. Some people find that talking to a neutral party as I would write to my paper helps. Emotional reactions can often lead us away from our internal truth. The key as always in responding not reacting. Take a mental deep breath. Seperate the emotions and the facts of the situation and you will have more clarity to work out how to respond.

What is your responsibility?

Knowing what is your responsibility is very, very important. In my situation I immediately kicked into fixing mode before I had looked at what actually was my responsibility to fix and what was not. Knowing what is your responsibility allows the brain to shift into black and white thinking. If you are not acting with integrity then it is your responsibility to address that. But don’t do someone else’s job for them. You only need to take action to your responsibilities. Doing the work for someone else deprives them the opportunity of growing and learning. Finding your responsibility will give you the opportunity to step back and be objective. And that is a great way to see if you are inline with your own integrity.

Define your moral standpoint

If things are a little hazy still. Define your moral standpoint. Here a great thing to do is roleplay how you would advise a friend or would want a friend to advise you in your situation? The majority of the human race tends to treat others better than they treat themselves. Use this instinct to your advantage and allow it to guide you to find your moral standpoint. When you know where you stand morally it is easier to act with integrity.

Get support

Still stuck? Then get support. The important thing here is to get the right support. Figure out what help you need and who in your support network is the person that you can trust to support you in this way. Who do you know that will speak and advise from their integrity? Then reach out to them.

Listen to your body

Our body tell us when we are living inline with our truth. Basically we feel uncomfortable if we are not. When I have a knot in my stomach I know something is up and I am not being truthful with myself. I have a trick. I list slowly and out loud (whenever possible), the problems, or the solutions/actions I am thinking of implementing; one at a time. I notice how my body responds to each statement. No reaction or a feeling of calm means I am being honest. A nervous stomach clinch and I know I am not.

Plan a course of action

In every situation in life there are things we can do and things we can’t do. To know what action to take I make a can do /can’t do list. The can do side is the things I can implement. And the can’t do is the side I have to let go of. In my situation a lot of it was about other people, and we all know we can only fix ourselves not others. So as much as I cared I had to let a lot of that go and then I focused on the things I could do.  The can do /can’t do list is a great way of identifying what we need. I discovered that I needed Mr T to take over something I really couldn’t do. By admitting that and talking to him about it I found my stress level lighter and I became more balanced. Once you have figured out what you can do make a plan of action and follow it.

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All of these actions I took and it led me back to a place where I am now responding from integrity, taking responsibility for my part and listening closely to my body to know when I am intune with my integrity and when I am not. It’s been a great teaching. The core of the teaching has been that within a drama situation you need clarity to keep you on course and aligned with your integrity. Take a step back. Realign with yourself and act from your truth and you can’t go wrong.

It is easier to be proud of ourselves when we do what we know to be the right thing to do, and take ownership. Even when doing the right thing is scary, we can be brave and comforted, because we know we are being true to ourselves. And that, at the end of the day is the most important thing.

Have a wonderful weekend <3

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If you want to find out more about living with integrity check out my previous #lifelesson101 Finding your Integrity !

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