Merriem-Webster’s main definition is “firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values”. I think most of us want to stick to having integrity in our lives, and I realize we all (including me) fall short sometimes. I mean, when a telemarketer calls your house and asks for you and you say “they’re not home”, does that have integrity? I could argue the fact that telemarketers in general are not moral, so it’s okay that I lied……but anyway, you get my point?
But today I am struggling with integrity that is a little more massive than dealing with telemarketers. I have been lied to and the lie has huge consequences to several people. It has hearts and futures in their clutches. And as the pain of this whole situation washed over me and I was still in the white wash – tumbling and really not sure which was was up or down – I receive a call to try to explain the situation. First of all, I received acknowledgement of the lie(s) involved. Then I heard justifications to why the lie happened in the first place – and, really, there are some compelling issues here and I don’t want to suggest that this has been an easy situation for this person. However, I sat listening to them and thought to myself, “Could I do the same thing, with these circumstances, and still look myself in the mirror?”
That is where I am now. I want to be forgiving yet there is real pain related to the apparent lack of integrity from another. I know I am not perfect, I know I have done stupid and hurtful things many times in my past (and, most likely, in my future), yet I also am overwhelmed with offending pain and hurt that is as real as the sun in the sky. I can completely admit I do not trust this person at all, and even question the “truth” they explained to me. There is a big part of me that takes their explanations, their desire to “not hurt me in the future” and scream – you are a piece of [enter something mean here]! And there’s another part that feels sorry for this mixed up and hurting soul that is so lost that they make the most horrible, painful decisions for themselves and everyone around them.
So I write here instead of coming to a decision about the future. Can we remain friends? Is it worth it? Can my heart handle it? Can I go forward always (probably) wondering if they are lying to me, if they are playing with me? If they will find another circumstance to justify throwing me back into the white wash. I know they have pain now too, that they regret this whole thing, that they are sorry……but that doesn’t help me much right now. And so I write and ponder……..