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Your Standards of Integrity

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Today's post expands our understanding of and experience with the Principle and Sutra Exercise for today (Tuesday).

Your heart recognizes and is drawn to people who possess qualities you admire. You cherish or delight in these attributes because you know what they are. They reflect your own potential. When you see these qualities in others, you experience joy, inspiration, and gratitude. That's the signal that your heart is responding to them.

Take a moment and think about someone whom you admire. What qualities do you prize in them? Below the surface of physical attributes or possessions, which traits reflect their basic goodness? Do you admire their courage, loyalty, or creativity? Do you honor their love, compassion, or truthfulness? Even as you are thinking about the person, do you notice a certain warmth in your heart?

Your heart warms in response to these qualities because they are inside you. You can't appreciate a trait unless you've experienced it - whether or not you are currently experiencing it. In order to value loyalty, for example, you must know what loyalty is. You must sense what it means to be dependable, steady, faithful, and dedicated - and you must also know the pain of disloyalty. This is true for any other attribute to which your heart responds.

To use a physiological metaphor, if you respond to the trait you must have a receptor site for it, a location in your heart that recognizes and reacts to the quality when you see it in others. To be moved by a trait in another person, you must have that quality inside yourself as a possibility.

Remember the old saying that you don't like certain people because they have some traits that you dislike in yourself? What if the opposite were true as well?

4 comments:

gg said...

I can think of no subject I enjoy more than integrity. I made a little list of people I admire and what I admire in them - the one quality that stands up for me is the ability to improve - to work hard on being better and by undertaking the quasi-impossible job they are instantly possessed of better character. Another quality I greatly admire is that of being able to work through, let go and move on. The ability to forgive seems highly underrated to me in general, and that alone makes it all the more impressive to me. A third quality I admire is Stick-To-It-Iveness... Persistence, commitment and loving discipline of self make up a category of character that I so admire and find so uncommon I can't believe that I would have "a receptor site" for it. Perhaps at one time in my life I had that - I can't say and would need to think it over. Shirley, what about you? Who do you admire and why?

Daniel B. said...

I am trying to think of the people in my life that I feel most connected with and then break down the attributes. It almost feels disloyal to "pick" at these people to see, examine what it is that attract me to them. I appreciate intelligence, the kinda of intelligence that is constantly looking and learning. I also admire people who are their own person, those that not only hear their own drum but march to it. Creativity is also a trait I very much admire no matter how it is expressed. I would name some names of people but one of them would be embarrassed, wouldn't you Shirley?

Shirley said...

Daniel - you made me laugh this morning! And Gracie... OK... here goes with my list:

The people in my life that I admire and respect the most have these qualities in common: generosity, honesty, persistence, a sense of humor, intelligence, they think outside the "box", love art and artists, are highly creative, have spiritual depth, are deeply committed, loyal, trustworthy, and can put up with me (you guys know who you are and I love you) - that this last one is important comes as a surprise but does seem important.

My "heroes" the mythological archetypes and larger than life figures who inspire me and warm my heart have in common: the ability to stand firm against all odds - even when they are sure to lose (Antonio Banderas in the 13th Warrior), those who leap into life fully engaged and 100% committed(Steve Irwin), and people who never give up no matter what (Frodo). I love people who do large and ridiculous things (they are everywhere, you can see some of them on Roadside Revelations - that show on public television where they visit all these strange little roadside attractions), and I love the quality of being able to walk your talk - being 100% in integrity no matter what the consequences (Ghost Dog).

Those are big shoes to fill. And it occurs to me that I know it's in me to be, do, and express all of the above... and that most of my disappointments in myself spring from my abiity to live up my expectations of myself.

And, I find it interesting that the qualities I admire are also qualities that you guys mentioned. It's like we are all on the same page here - in more ways than one.

g said...

That is so cool about these qualities.. as humans I believe that we want to harmonize with folks that believe the same way!

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