"Honesty is telling other people the truth. Integrity is telling yourself the truth."
~ Dr Robert Holden
I must have been around 8 when I tasted my first lesson of integrity. I had a sweet tooth and was known to scavenge whatever candy or sweets might be available. Rarely were we allowed candy except for on Halloween or Easter. Even then our intake was closely monitored and sanctioned.
When Mom hosted bridge was the only other time candy was in our house. It was always Bridge Mix and Butter mints; candy for the adults.
My parents might have told this story differently and I am sure my sisters remember it in their own way as well. Still, several days before the group was to play bridge at our house, I found the Bridge Mix in a brown paper bag on top of the refrigerator.
I cleverly opened the bag and took out just a couple of chocolates thinking no one would notice. I prided myself with being clever. I made several additional visits to the bag, each time being careful to quickly pull out a few chocolates before stealthily exiting the kitchen.
So when I heard my Mother shriek, “Who ate all the Bridge Mix?” I knew it couldn’t be me.
I held that “position of denial” for most of the weekend long after the bridge game had come and gone. My parents took turns offering me opportunities to fess up, to tell the truth, to just admit that I had eaten the chocolates.
There was a small voice within me that climbed to the surface several times. It desperately wanted to be honest, to relieve the heaviness that had closed in on me and made my stomach hurt.
As I lay on my bed, curled in the fetal position from holding back the truth, I finally screamed out, Yes it was me! I am the one who ate all the Bridge Mix! I don’t know what I expected yet my family seemed neither impressed or interested. Only I experienced a profound shift. Only I felt this great release. I was the One who was free!
Funny thing when I look back now at that experience. I learned that telling the truth to others is really just a practice of self- preservation. When I am honest with others, I feel within me, an internal consistency. And that sense of being whole and undivided, is precisely… what sets me Free!
What's an experience you've had where telling the truth set you Free?
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