A Year of Mindfulness: 52 Weeks of Focus – Week 20
Truth and Integrity. So truth is a pretty deep topic. It’s about being truthful—telling the truth, being morally responsible. It’s also about ultimate Truth, rooted in spirituality—and knowing what you believe your truth to be. We are all different.
“Paths are many. Truth is one!” ~ Gandhi
Satya, translated as truth is one of the yamas of Patanjali’s 8 Limbed Path in the Yoga Sutras. It’s about being truthful with self and others—in all aspects of our lives.
Dictionary.com defines integrity as:
- adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
- the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
Sounds like the two go hand in hand. This week, look for truth in all aspects of your life. Things change. We change. But in all things in life TRUTH remains.
After the last few years of my professional life, I hardly know what truth or integrity means anymore. I thought I knew what each meant, but it turns out that I really don’t. It seems the slick, those who can fake it well, the con artists, those who will stab coworkers in the back without a thought—they are continually rewarded—while the honest, earnest, and even creative—are punished. Even other “professionals” want smoke blown up their ass more than they want real talent or skill.
It’s hard (but should not be impossible) to maintain truth and integrity of self when faced with others who seem to have none. My truth and integrity should be separate from the perceived truth and integrity of others, but it’s easy for me to slip into lazy habits when feeling defeated again and again and again. The thing is, I know that these people really don’t think that they’re doing anything wrong. But understanding that does not make me dislike them any less. I read an interesting article in Elephant Journal recently, How to Deal With Crappy People, by James Altucher, that identifies four basic types of people:
#4 Crappy people: People who will do you harm, no matter what you do, for no reason at all. They never will get it. They will say and do things to you and they will never ever understand how evil they are.
And then gives suggestions for how deal with them:
There is only ONE only way to deal with these people in a way that will make you happier instead of sadder. ONE WAY. And it always works. This is the most important part of the Emotional leg of the Daily Practice. COMPLETELY IGNORE THE EVIL PEOPLE:
- Completely ignore them.
- Don’t think about them.
- Don’t talk to them.
- Don’t write them.
- Most important: Don’t give them advice. They will NEVER listen to your advice. It’s arrogant and stupid to think they will. It will only lead to more cycles of pain for you. The goal for me is to stop all cycles that cause me any pain at all. Giving advice to crappy people will only result in more pain for you. That’s the only possible result. Much better to be happy than to flush knotted up brown advice down a toilet that caused you agony to push out. This is hard.
- Most important: Never gossip about them behind their backs. Just completely disregard. We don’t care about their happiness or how evil they are. We only care about you. Its hard to do. Never ever talk about them behind their backs. Repeat this 500 times. This is hard also. Because it’s an addiction.
… If someone says, “what do you think of so-and-so”, your worst enemy, you say back, “So-and-so who?” And that’s it. No explanation. Nothing more. “So and so who?” Change subject right then. This is the emotional leg of the Daily Practice and must be balanced with the other three legs. Any deviation will set you back. Any addiction to the opposite of the above behaviors will eat you alive like cockroaches feasting on your heart. Have a good night.
This is difficult for me to put into practice. But I’m trying. The last few times I heard a certain thorn-in-my-side-person’s name, I deflected the conversation in another direction. Because either they think this person is a totally nice guy because they’ve never worked with him, or they have worked with or know of somebody who has worked with him, and know what he’s really like. Either way, I don’t need to get into a conversation about it. I’m trying to rise above. Although, all I want to say is, “He was such a jerk, you have no idea!” Wouldn’t that be more truthful? We’ll see how it goes.
None of this really gets to the heart of what truth and integrity mean to me, for my person. I’ve been wrestling with that too. I realize this post has been way too much about “them” and not much about “me.” I’ve made some hard choices this year—some of which I’m really proud of, some not so much. We’ll see how that goes too.