Integrity is when the reality matches the impression. When the inside matches the outside.
I need some of that.
I need the impression I mysteriously give to others of being calm, sorted and sure of myself to match how I feel on the inside. Let me correct that. I don’t need it to match how I feel, because that puppy is all over the place. What I need is for the outward impression I give of serenity to match real serenity on the inside. The kind of tranquillity that isn’t dependent on mere feeling.
Ducks and swans glide along but their legs paddle like mad beneath the surface. That’s me, dealing with an endless number of anxieties with no basis in fact. It’s a gift that just keeps on giving, operating across time and space, reaching forward into what could go wrong and back into what did go wrong, what may have gone wrong and what may have actually gone wrong but I didn’t notice. Sometimes I’m tired before I even get out of bed.
However. It does not honour God, or anyone else, to always assume the worst. It ignores and dishonours every good outcome, blessing and peaceful encounter of my life, which I can honestly say is made up more of positives than negatives. I have no right to pessimism or disaster planning. Nothing has ever been prevented by my worrying about it. On the other hand, I have wasted precious mental energy creating scenarios worthy of Hollywood.
Time for some new basic assumptions:
Things are probably okay right now.
Things will probably be okay, if not now, then in the end.
If things are not okay, I will probably be able to deal with it.
If an important thing is not okay and it’s my fault but I didn’t realise or notice at the time, I will discover it and then I will probably be able to deal with it.
And then it will be okay.
Sounds simple to the point of stupid, but perhaps it needs to be. It is possible that the point of believing in a loving God is that I need to actually, erm, believe that He is God, and that He loves me. That if I stop trying to fix things myself, He will help me recognise what’s real, where I’ve messed up and hurt people, and show me how to make things right. He will also help me to recognise and ignore the nonsense, the stuff that just messes with my head and makes me afraid.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love casts out all fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 Jn 4 v 18
I know this is more than possible because he’s already done it for me countless times. I just need to remember. And adjust my assumptions.