- the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
2. the state of being whole and undivided.
3. being true to oneself.
A woman of no integrity has no principle to live by. She is a mere mortal.
Integrity is the #1 factor separating mortals from Goddesses. We all talk about having strong values, but we all identify with being mistreated by others. It is exactly in those times of mistreatment that some of us fail to have integrity, and either teach the offender that it is okay to cross our boundary because we’d rather have him or the relationship, or we begin to negotiate our integrity away for the chance to maintain peace. Is peace in a relationship more important than your integrity? It shouldn’t be. A Goddesses dignity always comes first.
Believe it or not, this is the toughest thing I deal with when training Goddesses, because many will throw integrity right out the window as soon as a man starts pushing their buttons. “It’s okay, he really didn’t mean to upset me”, “It’s okay, he lied to protect my feelings”, “He didn’t mean that, he was in front of his friends and it’s just male bravado”. I am always dismayed when I see how quickly women throw their values and their self-respect out the window as soon as it is time to protect the connection.
I am not the only one who finds this problematic. Did you know that men often complain about this, and will test your integrity constantly to determine whether you are worthy of respect. I don’t blame men at all. Integrity is my number one qualification for a friend or a lover, and I have always invested more in people who show me their standards, those who keep their word, those who pull through in the most difficult situations. The older I get, the faster I move away from flakes. No man is looking for a flake to make her his Mrs. Right. The kind of men who prefer flakes are the men who have no respect for women, and would like them easy, pliable, and malleable. Yes, those relationships work because they are relationships between two equals. A flaky woman will always end up with a spineless douche bag.
When men write to me, they never ask where they can meet beautiful, sexy, gorgeous, feminine women. That is because they are a dime a dozen. Look around you, most women are 10 times better looking and in better physical shape than their male counterparts. It is so easy for an unattractive man to date a gorgeous woman. What is not easy is to find is a Goddess, a woman who respects herself so much, that she could easily drop a man to maintain her dignity. Where is she? Do you know one?
Looks are fine, but looks fon’t get you far in terms of respect. There will always be someone who is more beautiful than you, and the harder you compete on looks, the more respect you loose from men and other women. They see how hard you are trying and you validate them immediately. Brains and degrees are also easy to buy. I don’t know a single woman who does not have an impressive degree. Paper. If you want to be more than just paper, you need to possess that one quality that will ensure you command respect for the rest of your life. INTEGRITY.
Times are changing, and women are no longer chasing husbands. Most of my female friends don’t take men seriously at all. But in the workplace, in your social circle, in your community and romantic relationships your integrity is the one thing that will set you apart. How easily do you walk away? How hard is it for you to say No? Do you struggle with being unapologetic? Can you look them in the eye and mean every word you say? Do you flinch? Are you unshakeable?
Above all things a Goddess must know herself, and know exactly what she stands for. If you collect your feelings and opinions from the most popular media, then change those opinions every time the wind blows, you do not have much integrity at all. Example, I had a friend whose belief systems would change every time she met a new man. When she was in college, being politically correct was the most enlightened thing one could be, so she spent her 4 years judging everyone for not being PC enough. She then met a guy who ridiculed the PC movement, so she quickly discarded her standards, and started to identify with his views. In college she was ultra liberal, but when she met a potential husband, she traded her politics for a 3 carat diamond ring. Over night she became a Republican. He also asked her to change her religion, and she did so on command. When I asked her why she did that, she said that it is very important to meet your partner half-way, otherwise how could they have a healthy relationship? In one week she changed her entire belief system for a man.
This case may sound ridiculous, obviously she has no backbone. But, this is what a lot of women do in order to get along. In the work environment it is still more important for women to get along, than stand up for what they truly believe. The Goddess is always the one who knows what her opinion is, knows exactly why she believes it, is armed with verifiable facts, and is not afraid to speak her mind, nor rock the boat when her opinion must be heard. How will people respect your authority if they see how easily you bend with the wind? You have no authority at all if you are perceived as pliable. If you want people to treat you with respect, you first have to prove that you are worthy, that your word is golden, that you can be trusted, that you don’t flake out.
The Goddess is unshakable. Why I admire Goddesses so much? I know very few people I can actually lean on in tough times, very few people I can trust with my own life, very few I know who will not bend or flake out. If you want to stand on a pedestal, your pedestal must be harder than a mountain, otherwise anyone could shake you off. If you find that people are easily crossing your boundaries, dismissing your opinions, or negotiating your feelings, you need to strengthen your integrity. I think of myself as a solid person. What I look for in all relationships (business, friendship, or romantic) is integrity. The only people I respect are the ones who have earned my respect, and once they prove that I will fight like a lion for them. But no flake is worth the fight.
Often women are too concerned about how they are perceived. I understand. The workplace is tough because we work with a lot of different personalities with changing expectations and we have to balance all of them. What’s harder is that women cannot afford to be seen as too cold, selfish, nor power-grabbing, but if they do not stand their ground they often get pushed aside. We have to be nice in order to be a team-player, and it is always the nice girl who is the first to sweep aside her own needs or opinions for the sake of others. Having been at the opposite ends of the spectrum, I can honestly tell you that the nice girl never wins. She doesn’t win at relationships, she gets no respect at the office, and she certainly doesn’t get to stand on a pedestal.
I’ll be honest. I am very nice. If you ask my closest friends, I am the type of person who’d give you the shirt off her back, her last dime, and all the advice and shoulder-crying time a good friend needs. For friends who have been fully vetted, I am that one person they can always count on. My word is always golden, I always show up, I won’t let people I value down.
But I used to be too nice, and easily get taken advantage of until I realized that my integrity is more important to me than anything else I own. I realized from many collapsed relationships that it isn’t worth it to protect the integrity of others at my own expense. I learned to judge people’s value systems, before I offered them my friendship or respect.
You absolutely must become discerning about who people are and what their value systems look like. You simply cannot afford to respect everyone. If you do, you will compromise your own self-respect. The people who I respect are the ones who value me for being unshakable. They don’t ridicule my resolve, they don’t demand I negotiate how I feel so they could feel better, they respect my boundaries, and my reprimands when those boundaries are tested. People who value respect and those who respect themselves have integrity and will value you for being their equal.
Be careful who you associate with and who your friends are. The flakiest people in the world will call on your integrity when needed, but will disappear the moment you challenge theirs. Their friendship or loyalty is worthless. Cultivate a quality circle of friends, business associates, and lovers, and be happy with fewer people in your life. Quality is better that quantity, and personal integrity is key to living life on your own terms and being a Goddess.
You must be unshakable. I too test people’s integrity because I have no time to waste on people with no spine. They are a dime a dozen, and their loyalty is for sale. They shift the minute someone offers them more. Over the years I have narrowed my circle of friends. I still know everyone in town, but no longer pay attention nor swear loyalty to big egos with no substance. I can now afford to give quality time to people who have no problem proving themselves or earning my respect.
As you already know, no one will respect you until they see how much you respect yourself. I wouldn’t either. I meet a lot of “big men” who are full of hot air. A ton of men out there have no respect for themselves either. They are easy to spot, because their words are just words. Challenge their self-perception, and most will become indignant or enraged when you ask for proof of life and substance.
Integrity is the pedestal on which the Goddess is worshiped. If you have no integrity, you have no respect, you have no subjects, and you have no foundation. Don’t you dare call yourself a Goddess until you have earned that respect from others. The day other’s bow down to you of their own free will, they day they fight for your friendship, for your time, for your approval and express gratitude for it is the day you have earned the title.