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Posts Tagged ‘life’

From Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary:

1 : firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility
2 : an unimpaired condition : soundness
3 : the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness

From Our Own Druidry (82)

Honor; being trustworthy to oneself and to others, involving oathkeeping, honesty, fairness, respect, self-confidence.

For me, this is probably the most important virtue of the lot – it’s the one from which all the others branch out. Integrity is a core tenet of how I try to live my life, and it’s something I’ve given a lot of thought to. I generally dislike the term “honor”, as it’s too easy for that word to be abused to mean “what society thinks you should do for the better of society”. This isn’t to say that integrity isn’t often influenced by societal norms, but that in the end, integrity is a condition of the self. It encompasses all three parts of the dictionary definition. True integrity is incorruptible (it doesn’t waver under pressure); it is conditionally sound (it is consistent within itself); and it is complete and undivided (it encompasses all aspects of life).

Of course, that’s an impossible standard for any human to live up to, but I think it’s a goal worth striving for. To me, integrity is my willingness to make a decision about what I think is right (which includes elements of the virtue of Wisdom, and also of Vision), to stick up for it when it is challenged (Courage and Perseverance), and ultimately to increase my ability to interact with fairness towards others (Hospitality and Moderation). It includes uncompromising honesty – something I strive for, even when it might have negative consequences.

For example, I was recently selected for municipal court jury duty, but I put the summons somewhere where it got shuffled into the paperwork on my desk and I flat out didn’t show up on the day I was called. Instead of making up some excuse about why I couldn’t be there (when I finally remembered about it two weeks later), I told the court administrator the truth. She was understanding, and I was given a new day to show up for jury service. But I was prepared to be told I needed to pay a hefty fine for that mistake. Still, I would rather have told the truth than lied about it (as I was encouraged to do by my coworkers).

That’s a good example of my trying to live up to integrity – but my still being “closeted” about being Pagan can sometimes cause me to not live up to this virtue, or at least, to not live up to it fully. I don’t lie about my religious beliefs, but I definitely dodge the question, and I give off the impression (knowingly) of still being Christian to my extremely Christian family (and to my workplace). This does bother me, but I don’t yet have the courage (or the desire to cause damage to my family or create weirdness at my job) to change that, so I live with an aspect of my life that doesn’t live up to this virtue as well.

Nothing bothers me more than people who are cruel in the name of honesty, however, which is why this virtue is also about fairness, and wisdom, and courage, and vision, and even (to some extent) moderation. It’s the virtue that the whole system hinges on, in my view. I’m not always very good at keeping to it, when things get very tough, but this is one of the most important virtues for me.

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I’m feeling a little off-balance lately, both in my spiritual practice and in my everyday life. Things seem to be right on the edge of teetering out of control, which usually means it’s time for me to really step back and get things back in order. The struggles I’m having with my meditation practice are a pretty good indicator that I’m generally lacking focus as well – which isn’t a surprise, though I hadn’t really thought of using that as a metric before.

I’ve added in a lot of new things to my life in the last few months, and I think I need to do some evaluating of what I want to keep and what I want to let go. Not that I have a really good way of doing that, since I don’t want to overstructure things either.

Basically I’m trying to find the balance between the things that I need to do (cook/eat, work, exercise, sleep) and the things that I want to do (read, play games, do crafts) and figuring out where Druidry fits into that picture. I think it’ll end up somewhere between the two – it’s not a need the same way eating is, but it ranks higher up than knitting. At least in my mind that’s how it should work.

Fortunately it’s easy to build little bits of Druidry into daily life, like my morning devotions in the parking garage, or lighting candles on my “hearth” in the evenings. I need to keep THOSE things in mind (along with blogging!) and let go of some of the bigger desires for lots of ritual and dramatic experiences. I’m kind of a ritual junkie, and I should throw that energy at planning for Imbolc (which I’ve done very little of) instead of dreaming up new rituals and things to work on all the time. I don’t have a lot of time before the Holy Day (next Friday!) so I really do need to find a little focus to work out a ritual script.

Hopefully with a little conscious thought and planning, I can get things back into harmony again. I want my Druidry to integrate rather seamlessly into the rest of my life, and hopefully I can get to that point.

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From the ADF-Dedicants list this week:

Some of us make our offerings while standing at the elevator pouring part of our cup of water into a nearby potted plant

If you’re a Druid in the Office like I am, here’s a little way to honor the Nature Spirits around you, even if they’re little Office Nature Spirits.

There are two plants in my immediate cubicle, plus a number of assorted low-light plants around the office. I could make a little splash of water in offering to them pretty much unnoticed, and it would take me awhile to visit them all. Just one more creative way to bring Druidry into the mundane aspects of life.

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