Integrity

The integrity of this flower is easy to see. I see its wholeness. In nature, I see integrity all around us. With us humans, integrity is more complex. I often have choices in many things and situations. How do I keep my own integrity, particularly in regard to those things that are important to me and act consistently, to be honest about who I am in own life?

In the past, I stayed in situations, relationships, and even jobs longer than made sense. I was not fully aware that I was selling myself short when I was doing that. When we need work to live, that is very understandable. However, I also became very good at adapting myself to relationships that were not the best for me.

Recently with the help of my source, friends, and family, I healed an important part of my past. In doing so, I also became more aware of what I can and can NOT make work for me in my life. What I denied in the past about a situation, I can NOT lie to myself about anymore. My own integrity and clarity about what I need and feel I can not pretend to NOT hear anymore. This is helping me to let go of situations that go against my own values and beliefs.

“Nothing is, at last, sacred, but the integrity of your own mind.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I have integrity, I find it is also easier for me to respect others. When I acted with less integrity, I did not feel that good about myself. It is hard to be respectful of others when you are stuck in your own self-loathing. Often you aren’t even aware of it because so many other people around you are doing the same thing. This did not give me an excuse. I had to wake up and start standing up for what was important to me. I had to learn to know myself even if that meant facing some old demons.

I have choices about how I choose to show up in the world. Every day I must choose to live in integrity with every choice I make. I have also learned to forgive myself for not always choosing well. Old patterns die hard. I am also learning to watch and wait longer before I act. At times, I risk and jump into something new. I take risks or I will be living in fear about every choice I make. That is not living either. I must maintain a balance.

I try to have more compassion for others and myself because most of us are truly in the same boat on this planet. As humans I know we aren’t perfect, that way I can cut slack for everyone including myself.

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Mind My/Your Own Business

“Mind your own business” does not mean I don’t care about others. I do. For me it is not a way of avoiding getting involved with people, and “mind your own business” is a way for me not to be so focused on others. I have had the propensity to pay more attention to other people’s lives than my own. I’ve spent much of my life focused on other’s needs and sometimes forgotten my own. Also I used to,  way too often, get into other people’s business when I was not asked for advice.

mail boxes

Other people’s mail boxes

I wouldn’t get into other people’s mail boxes, but as a “helper” type of person, I had the audacity to think that I could get into other’s business. I became unconscious of this habit. I had bought into the habit of “helping” family members and others without asking them. As a nation with reality shows, and anything to do with entertainment, we Americans seem to get into every one else’s business a lot and think it is OK to do that, too. That does not excuse me.

sign

self explanatory sign

I’ve started obeying the above sign and acting like other people’s lives are not my business. Initially it was a bit embarrassing to notice my nosey habit. Over the last year, I have been learning to take care of my own business better. I’ve been working on asking people if they want my help and/or advice. Mind you it is an effort! I’m not great at this, yet. For those of you with this issue, here are some quotes you might like to view.

http://www.searchquotes.com/search/Mind_Your_Own_Business/

The upside to owning this habit and working on changing it is: I’m enjoying nature more; I’m less of a pain in the butt to friends and family, i.e. my relationships are improving. I’m beginning to learn what I feel about things. I am learning why I have done certain things and my motivations. For instance, why I became a teacher and why I love being around and supporting children and teens. I am owning my likes and dislikes. I am standing up better for myself. I am asking questions more (not allowed in my FOO (family of origin)). I’m learning that I do not need to be run raged by MY expectations of others. I am learning more self acceptance.  All of these new ways of learning and being are what I mean by “minding my own business”.

Warning: You may start notice how prevalent it is that others are NOT minding their own business- but that is not YOUR business or mine.

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Reminder sign

This sign reminds me to stop and think first and ask myself:

Is this my business? Or will this “business” affect MY life or freedom? Did this person ask for my input?

My last thought on “Mind your own business” is that it is not a rude saying. If I say it to myself, it is a way to remind myself to respect myself and others.

 

 

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Our Beautiful World, Including US

What stops you from being willing to get to know people from other cultures and ethnicities? Or do you have ideas how we can be more accepting of ALL people?

coral tree

coral color tree

Nature and the beautiful changes that our trees display each fall has always given me great joy.

tree from fall

multi color tree

What disturbs me is that we often don’t seem to see ourselves as beautiful as the world we live in, no matter what culture we come from.  While I was teaching people from all over the world of all ages for 23 years, I learned how beautiful we ALL are with all our DIFFERENCES. Our beauty comes from each of our spirits and how we treat each other and ourselves with kindness and respect.

kamie photo

from Ghana, Ireland, Spain, Jamaica, Cherokee Indian, and
Seminole Indian

If we do not accept ourselves, could this contribute to making us unable to accept people who look different from ourselves?

mom and son contrast

from England?, Ireland? Nigeria, and Osage Indian

One of the oldest quotes which appeared  on the wall of the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, Greece more than 2000 years ago was: “Know thyself“”

Learning to do this requires compassion for ourselves, as well as self-reflection, which we can do with discipline and humility, one day at a time. And when the going gets rough,  as we tell the truth about ourselves and our lives, we may have to reach out for help. Knowing yourself is worth it and changes your life!

What are some other sources of our lack of acceptance of people from other cultures?

children from Iran

from Iran, Turkey, England, and France,

From the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology the idea of ethnocentrism might be another explanation.

“Ethnocentrism is a belief that the norms, values, ideology, customs, and traditions of ones own culture or subculture are superior to those characterizing other cultural settings. The term was coined by William Graham Sumner in his Folkways (1906) and has long served as a cornerstone in the social analysis of culture. ”

girls from Japan and USA

from Japan, England, France,  and Switzerland

I ask myself, what emotion encourages some one to be ethnocentric? I think it could be the emotion, FEAR, which can be helpful to us at certain times, but not when we are dealing with people who just look different from ourselves.

women from Mexico, Somalia

from Mexico, El Salvador,
 and Somalia

“Fear defeats more people than any one thing in the world.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Also about fear Emerson said:

“He/She who is not everyday conquering some FEAR has not learned the secret of life.”

Thank you, Emerson!

What stops you from being willing to get to know people from other cultures and ethnicities? Or do you have ideas how we can be more accepting of ALL people? Please share them.

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Big Wishes, Big Dreams, and Acceptance

Dandelion field

Dandelion field

      At times I still like to blow dandelions to make wishes. Today I would blow a dandelion for a BIG wish and a BIG dream. That dream would be: all of us humans would be accepting of ourselves and treat ourselves with more loving kindness and thus, be more accepting of other people.

 Lone Dandelion

Lone Dandelion

For this dream to become real, I have had to work on myself.  During this process through the years I have sometimes felt physical and emotional pain that I had to release.   At times the road has been rocky, but the journey has been worth it. I know that growth and becoming more aware about others and life around me is possible because I can see the changes in myself. I’m getting closer to self-acceptance, and in turn I am feeling  more open and more accepting of all kinds of people.

One of the long time teachers of self-acceptance is Louise Hay. See her quote on her website : http://www.healyourlifetraining.com/louise-hay/self-love-meditation-by-louise-hay

Another website that you might like which does a deep study of self-acceptance is the Self-Acceptance Project.

http://www.soundstrue.com/shop/The-Self-Acceptance-Project/4249.pd

Dare to Dream BIG!

What is your dream? Are you willing to share it?

 

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