I recently had someone that I have cared for and supported over the years ask me to do something that did not feel good to me. They were in a lot of pain from a challenging life experience. My stomach constricted which is always a sign that I should pause and consider. I pondered the request and then respectfully declined because it did not align with my values. I shared that I would be happy to support them in other ways but I could not do what was being asked of me. The next week, they sent an email severing contact. At first, I was upset. I quickly realized that the person was hurting and that I happened to be the closet place to dump their anger. I care for this person AND, after a time of contemplation, I was clear that I would not change my answer. I could not do something for anyone that was out of integrity with my values, regardless of the consequences. I left the door open for dialogue with this person and then gave them space to have the dignity of their process.
It is so interesting to me that many of my clients are in this same internal conversation. They are being faced with moments of choice that call into question whether they can stand for their beliefs or “cave in” to hold onto a relationship.
What I have learned is that if I am not in integrity with myself, I am off track and out of sync with my natural state of being. Every time I have done something that I knew went against my convictions, I suffered on some level. I have begun to ask myself a series of questions now before I make the difficult decisions to say “no.” I am sharing them with you in case you might need a tool like this. Here are the questions:
- If I do this will I be in integrity with my values?
- Will I be proud of myself if I make this decision?
- Am I wanting to do this out of fear of losing someone or something?
- Can I love myself enough to walk my talk?
- Can I trust the journey of this relationship enough to stand in the truth of who I am?
I have learned anyone that truly cares for me will honor my choices. We may not always agree but respecting each other’s right to choose is paramount in any healthy relationship.
I am sad that the person chose to disconnect from our relationship. However, I feel no remorse in choosing what I know was in integrity with my soul.
What are you choosing this day? Are you in integrity with yourself and what you value in life?
Much love and light,