|(Image of Shaman from National Geographic)|
Recently, one of my friends sent this quote with a book reading announcement for the author Chinua Achebe: "One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised." It resonated with me so much that I had to grab it and use it in my email signature. Throughout my life integrity has been a unifying theme. It is a motivator, a consideration, guiding force and inspiration. Integrity is about being true to your self—being authentic. It is why I chose to become a writer and an artist. It has also kept me from doing some things and encouraged me to quit doing some other things I have been fully immersed in.
About a month ago someone said something to me that was so rude, fundamentally destructive, hurtful and unexpected that it pierced me. Shaman know we are (at least most of us) punctured by a variety of wholes inflicted on the journey of the life passage. This one whole got me to thinking. Your soul is something you come into this world with and it is the only thing with which you will leave. Would I allow someone to say something so negative and destructive that it could pierce and injure my personal sense of identity, even if allowing them to say those sorts of things enabled me to make money? The answer is a resounding no. Integrity and sense of self are wrapped around my soul. When one of the elements in that trilogy takes a hit, they all suffer. Internal suffering leads to illness whether it shows itself as being spiritual, psychological or physical. No person, whatever their position, should have the power to make us sick in any way.
I have closed what was seemingly a promising and exciting chapter in my life. It is always sad when closure comes but typically it is for the best. Changes are frightening but they can also be exciting. I look forward to seeing what the universe has in store next. As a writer, I know that there are many new, promising and exciting chapters just waiting to be written. Now I have the positive space and nurturing environment needed to write them.