There has been a myriad of challenges occurring in the past week, my old wounds and pains getting triggered left and right. Even as I write these words, I feel an intense weariness, and a persistent need to let out deep sighs from the weight of it all. No one needs to tell me life is hard, as I am well acquainted with that fact, but when there are days or weeks like these and I am tested to my very limit, I fear breaking underneath all the pressure. I fear going back down again.
But after speaking with my professor and mentor, one word he said stuck to me: integrity. If you are to say that integrity is what you live by, then it means adhering to your values, even when you’re shaken and pushed down by others. It means choosing good over easy. It means taking on courage, because you’ll sure as hell need it in the face of social pressures, your inner demons, and all those who are looking forward to seeing you relent and fail.
As Barbara De Angelis elaborated, “Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.”
So, with these things in mind, I will not just speak lip-service, and instead live up to what I preach. I will stand strong and not allow the outside world shake me in who I am, and the values I live by. I will continue to live by honesty, love, faith, authenticity, and integrity, no matter what situation I am placed in or who I have to face… because each battle carves out my true character, and yields me greater strength in my success.