Sharing my learnings from the book, The Way of Integrity by Martha Beck
The Way of Integrity by Martha Beck
In The Way of Integrity, Beck presents a four-stage process that anyone can use to find integrity, and with it, a sense of purpose, emotional healing, and a life free of mental suffering. Much of what plagues us—people pleasing, staying in stale relationships, negative habits—all point to what happens when we are out of touch with what truly makes us feel whole.
- Being “in integrity” means being whole and undivided. To satisfy social standards, you may often ignore or negate your true feelings, becoming unhappy, unproductive, and sick in the process. When you act in ways that don’t resonate at your deepest level, you suffer because you’re out of sync with yourself. In other words, you’re out of integrity.
- Integrity means being at one with your deepest, truest self – and it’s the antidote to suffering.
- The first step in realigning yourself – in pursuing the “way of integrity” – is to acknowledge how lost you are.
- Your inner teacher is your integrity. It will guide you both physically and mentally – in response to hearing or speaking the truth, your body will instinctively relax and your mind will feel free. Listening to this part of yourself is the most important skill you need to attain true happiness.
- suffering is optional. Pain comes from events, while suffering comes from the way you handle events. Popular psychology often claims that “positive” thoughts make you happy, while “negative” thoughts do the opposite. But a forced cheery statement – “I love my job!” – can feel like a dagger to the heart. Meanwhile, a negative sentiment that matches what you truly believe – “My job sucks.” – provides sweet relief.
- identify the beliefs that make you suffer and ask yourself, Can I absolutely know this thought is true? Whenever your inner teacher realizes you’re mistaken, let the rigid conviction go and replace it with openness.
- When you lie to yourself, nothing feels trustworthy because you aren’t trustworthy. Life becomes cold, lonely, and numb.
- by going deeper into your suffering, you will, at some point, stop descending and start ascending. This is the end of self-betrayal – the point at which you stop “believing things onto yourself” and accept that you’re infinitely worthy, lovable, and loved.
- stop lying. This practice seems simple, but it’s the ultimate self-help strategy on your path to happiness.
- As you approach a fundamental shift in your identity, you may find you miss your old life. Give yourself time and space to mourn, and then forge ahead.
- Your ultimate freedom lies in your capacity to interpret the world in new ways.
- By continually spending a little more time on things you love, and a little less time on things you don’t, you’ll slowly but surely align with your inner integrity.
- First, forgive yourself for ever betraying your integrity. Then, acknowledge and value everything you’ve done to support your sense of truth. Like with repeated action, persistent contemplation can turn a transitory state of connectedness and love into a permanent, structural condition. By focusing on integrity and compassion, you can rewire yourself for happiness.
- everything is driven by love. And as you reach the highest level of integrity, your sense of unity and love will draw you toward helping others. It may sound cheesy, but it’s true: you’ll become the change you wish to see in the world.