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A word came to me during a meditation a few weeks ago, and it’s been knocking on the door of my consciousness incessantly ever since.
I’ve decided to dub it my word of intention for 2023.
The word is “integrateness.” To me, it means the possibility of stepping into our greatness, our highest potential, that becomes available to us only after we do the work of integrating all parts of ourselves.
From a Parts Work (Internal Family Systems Therapy) perspective, the human mind is made up of multiple parts or sub-personalities. Each of these parts has good intentions, but many of them carry burdens that lead to inner conflict. To become integrated means to create inner harmony by working with, giving voice to, and being compassionate toward all parts of the self.
To do this work of integration makes it possible to live in integrity. Living in integrity is our access to true power.
The root of the word integrity is “integer,” which means a whole, the same root word as the word “integrate.”
Contrary to popular belief, integrity has nothing to do with morality. It is not about good or bad or right or wrong. Integrity literally means the state of being undivided—being whole and united with ourselves, in alignment with the will of our True Self. Until all parts of us have been witnessed and integrated, we simply cannot have integrity.
Setting goals from an unintegrated place is like trying to drive a car while one foot is on the break. It doesn’t matter how hard you press the gas, the car won’t go anywhere. Like a wheel with missing spokes, our life simply won’t work without integrity. And integrity can’t happen without integration.
Although we are often taught that achieving integrity within ourselves requires loads of discipline or willpower, in actuality, integrity is the natural byproduct of doing the work of integration. Until that work has been done, we will continue to experience dissonance between how we wish to show up and how we actually do.
>> The people pleaser part of ourselves promises to be on time, but the part of us who doesn’t want to be dominated feels a need to rebel and show up late.
>> The activist part of us wants to stand up for what is right, but the part of us who just wants to fit in won’t let us stand out and be seen.
>> The creative part of us wants to share our gifts with the world, but we don’t because there is a part of us that is afraid of being criticized.
These are examples of being out of integrity, but it is not because we are lacking in intention or internal motivation to act in accordance with our core desired way of being. These circumstances only occur when we are torn between the competing interests of the unintegrated parts within.
As a friend of mine, Paul Williamson, once pointed out to me, the word intention breaks down to: “in tension,” which to me, evokes the image of a bow and arrow pulled taught, aimed at its target. We cannot hit a target if we don’t know where we are aiming. Being integrated means having one singular target, which allows us to fulfill our intentions.
An interesting anecdote related to this concept comes from the etymology of the word “sin.” Sin was originally an archery term from Ancient Greece. When translated, it literally means “to miss the mark.” Like integrity, it has nothing to do with morality, yet its meaning has been tampered over the centuries. The only targets we have in life are what we say we’re aiming for, based on what we say matters. We cannot have a target until we speak one into existence, and we cannot hit the mark if we don’t have one. It follows, then, that “sin” only comes from acting out of integrity with our True Self.
We are out of integrity when we are unintegrated: when one part of us is aiming for one target and another part is aiming for another. No matter where our arrow lands, we’ve missed the mark. We cannot hit multiple targets at once.
When it comes down to it, our word is all we have. It is our power to create. The quintessential magical word “abracadabra” comes from the Aramaic word “avra kehdabra,” which translates to “I create as I speak.” There is a reason why it’s called “spelling” when we write or name the letters in a word. It is because our word is magic, and being in integrity with our word is akin to casting the spells which shape our reality.
Another etymological clue to the power of our integrity is that a group of words forming a syntactic unit is called a “sentence,” the same word we use to describe a punishment. The words we choose to use can either release us or confine us.
Our words become liberating when we have integrity. In other words, when we do as we say and say as we do. When we honor our word, regardless of feelings, thoughts, or circumstances, we are consciously plugging into the infinite realm of creation.
When we have a weak relationship to our word (when who we say we are and what we say we are going to do does not match reality), our power to create is weak. We perceive ourselves as unworthy or broken.
In truth, we can never be broken, only divided against the differing intentions within ourselves. We must first witness, own, love, accept, and bring these parts back into wholeness to begin creating our magic. We must be in integrity with our True Self.
To become integrated makes living in integrity possible. To live in integrity opens the portal for us to step into our greatness.