So, I have this thing where I feel that I HAVE to what I think people want me to do. If I say I’ll do something, I’ll do it. This sounds good right? Keeping my word and all.
I call it integrity, and get all uppity when other people don’t have the same levels of ‘integrity’ as me. But it’s beginning to seem like what I’m calling integrity is actually sticking to the ‘rules’ no matter what, and not actually listening to myself. Integrity is a good word, but I’m realising that I really need to have integrity towards myself first and foremost.
I remember when I was an English Teacher, teaching a class and needing to be sick for about an hour. Instead of excusing myself, or ending the class early, I taught the whole class, fixed smile in place, vomit just behind it. As soon as the class finished I legged it to the bathroom and vommed my little stomach out. My rigid “I must do everything right’ belief was masquerading as being a good, integrity-full person. Actually, I was scared of getting in trouble and choose to value the lesson and how I thought the student might feel over myself and how I actually felt.
Today at work, I was really sick. Like actually sick. As in ‘bleeeugggh’ sick. So I went home. Normally I’d have spent all day with my hand on my head, feeling sorry for myself, but safe in the knowledge that I was beyond reproach, I’d done everything right.
And what a relief it was to go home. To listen to myself and my needs and to honest. To take my personal needs seriously, and but not to take my (misplaced) importance in the world too seriously. So far as I know, the summer camp I work at is ok, children still got to play football, the sky didn’t fall down and I’m not a bad person.
So let’s all take ourselves a bit more seriously and listen to ourselves, after all no one else can hear our internal needs, but take our external image and beliefs a bit less seriously. They’re probably not true anyway!