By Jamie Moon
What does it take to be in Integrity? Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, and life Principles. We regard Integrity as the Honesty and consistency of one's actions. Integrity is a Principle where we have internal stability. We—seeing the flaws in our makeup through Step Five—become more committed to the Program, as a way of life. This makes our outsides more consistent with our insides. That is exactly what we are doing through the Program—making our insides consistent with our outsides—Integrity.
Up till this point we have collected ten Principles that we are looking to live by and fifteen more to follow. If we choose this way of life—to live by these Principles daily is to be in Integrity. We are making ourselves whole. Our adherence to these Principles creates within us a soundness of character, a quality character we may have always wanted and not lived. I am horrified to tell you that I demonstrated in my life things that were NOT in Integrity. They were, lying about my views or opinions, in order to try to make friends. Mostly I lied to myself.
The worst of all was when I was taken to court, by the police, and I talked for weeks about what I was going to do; exactly what I was going to say and how I was going to say it. The day came, we drove some 300 miles, there was me nattering the entire way of what I thought was to follow. I showed up and went in to talk to the DA and I recanted under imagined pressure, and “cut a deal.” I sold myself, my friend and my wife who had come with me for my day in court, all to avoid the possible penalty of jail. I was pandering to my ego-mind and not operating through a connection with Higher Power; I had none. The Integrity we are acquiring through the Steps is the relationship with ourselves that we have always desired.
The Integrity we are finding in this process is a formal relationship with ourselves and to do with acting honorably and finding and maintaining our new found True Identity. We now stand for something; we have a purpose; and the Principles we live by are our greatest assets. Integrity as we now live it is a matter of our integrating various parts of our personality into a harmonious whole—no longer corrupted by past unconscious decisions made by our childish selves. With the help of our Higher Power we shall be able to act on a positive intention in our lives; being able to do it no matter the obstacles in our way.
The Integrity that we are learning to live by is an ability to hold steadfastly to our commitments—a virtue demonstrated by our care for ourselves. Today I am clear that the concept of Integrity is tied together with the Principles of Defeat, Acceptance, Open-Mindedness, Hope, Surrender, Faith, Honesty, Courage, and Confession. And will also incorporate the next fifteen Principles. These different overlapping qualities of character we find under—one term—Integrity. Integrity demands that we are Honest with ourselves—first. Sometimes it’s the toughest thing we’ll ever have to do—but it’s the foundation of a joyous life, of self-expression, and a Higher Power—everything.