January 2020: Integrity

Dear Friends,
Our theme for this month is integrity – something that at least I have always been taught to aspire to, something to strive for, to build my character towards. I’ve always thought that integrity is the mark of a good person and something that I need to attain.
But is it really?
The introductory materials through the Soul Matters Circle, where we get information on our monthly theme for our Religious Education Curriculum and Small Groups, has this to say about integrity:

Integrity isn’t simply something we build; it’s something already there. We UUs talk mostly about inherent worth, but we also believe in inherent integrity. All the building blocks are sitting there, waiting. They are, as Remen says, hidden like something we have put in the back of the drawer long ago.

It’s all a reminder that our integrity is much more closely tied to memory than we acknowledge. Those moments from our youth when we felt most truly ourselves. Those mentors and models that departedwisdom about what really matters. It’s all there. Just forgotten. As the poet, Charles Bukowski says, “Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?”

As we start this journey of exploring integrity together, I wonder about this view of integrity. Is it possible that I, as I am, have everything I need to live with integrity? That you do? Can we uncover our inner selves, who we truly are and can be? And how can we live with integrity to that person we find beneath the world’s expectations?

It might just be me, but I think this is the hardest thing in the world. Listening to myself. Trusting myself. Remembering what makes me feel most like me.

Let’s remember together. Let’s share ourselves without hesitation. Let’s live with integrity.

In love and community,

Kate Larson
Acting Clerk
on Behalf of the Board of Trustees