I've been in a relationship for the last month and have been feeling pretty good about it. She is a good person, present, thoughtful. We had a talk tonight about where we are in life. Both of us are in really good places, and different places. Mine is not to try to place her. Mine is to clearly understand my place. Tonight was the opportunity to think about that. We talked about where I am at.
How do we define our place in life - based upon the present or the past? It is probably best to use both as measure. In all things we describe ourselves both by way of similarity and of difference. In unfamiliar territory - often it is through what we are not that we closer to what we are. My life has not been easy, but then admittedly there are harder rows, less forgiving. I thank God for giving me the tools I have needed to temper - to become durable - to be able to bend without breaking.
Still, this is a new place for me - so I describe my new place via its opposite. Who have I been, how have I changed? Who am I now ... through the process of describing who I have been, I get closer to who I am, with honesty. In short, by airing my laundry, I am better able to see that what remains is clean, dry, wearable. Now, describe what it is about those vestiges that can be called good - that is where our actions come into the picture - not what I have done in the past, as it does not control my future - who I am today and those daily convictions and thoughts and actions that define in concrete terms who I really am. The definition of integrity is being consistent - judged by myself and my intentions to be aligned with my actions and values - alignment between values and actions.
At 45 years old, I am reminded the road to peace is through integrity.