Presence & Integrity: Can they co-exist?

Over the past couple years, I’ve journeyed into a conversation of living in the “now” and being present.  Simultaneously, I’ve journeyed into a conversation of integrity and of being and honoring my word.  Recently, I’ve found myself inquiring: Can these two conversations exist together or are the mutually exclusive?

Living in the moment is so pleasurable.  It is fun and adventurous and has led me to experience moments of true ecstasy and bliss.

Integrity calls me to know and live my values and to honor my relationships and commitments as best I can.

I have found that honoring the now is an expression of the spiritual self and allows for expansion in the moment.  Yet, integrity is necessary for the human self to trust, open, and expand over a longer period of time.

I have watched these two values collide recently, in my own life and in others’, as the desire to live in the moment has broken the integrity of commitments to self and others.

A simple example would be: Jane committed to be at Martha’s house at 7pm so they could work on a project together.  Yet, on the way to Martha’s house, Jane noticed a beautiful sunset over the ocean and pulled over to enjoy the moment.  Jane got out of her car, grateful to share in this gift, fully embracing the “now.”  Coincidentally, Jane didn’t end up honoring her commitment to Martha and showed up at 7:30pm, which left Martha, who had rushed home to meet Jane, now needing to hold up the rest of her plans for the evening or be incomplete with the goal she and Jane had committed to accomplishing.

A bigger example might be with two partners in a romantic relationship.  With a man we’ll call Frank, I find the most blissful, intimate times when I choose to live in the now.  Yet, knowing that I value commitment and want to be in a partnership with someone who I am growing with and he is in a different place in his life, I cannot honor my integrity and feel complete, free, and safe with him.  Moments in the now turn into moments of discomfort when I shift into a place of integrity.  Integrity is the foundation of all relationships, and I can see this especially in romantic partnerships.

So for now, I choose integrity.  I choose to live in integrity as best I can – honoring myself, my commitments, and my relationships with the highest level of integrity possible.  I can see that this commitments requires a deep knowing of and connection to my values.  Each of us has different values, so when we can come from our place of truth, then we a real connection to work with.  If either party is coming from inauthenticity, withholding, or a lack of integrity, there is discomfort and suffering.

When in integrity, I can THEN sink into the “now,” and then…we’ll see…but I imagine there is more bliss that I have ever known to come.  Perhaps integrity is the true POWER of the NOW.  And true bliss comes from the times when within the structure of integrity, we can settle into the now.

What are your thoughts on the relationship between these two values?

With heart,

S

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