Thursday, April 12, 2012

Words To Live By

"We must be true inside, true to ourselves, before we can know the truth that is outside us."
~Thomas Merton

The possession of integrity is not a given in this life, it comes first from the example set by our parents, and then from our own self-discipline, inner trust, and relentless honesty.  We are quick to recognize and value integrity in others but how many of us work purposefully toward acquiring it?

The pursuit of an authentic life, filled with honesty and integrity can be perceived as ideal. Some say that in this harsh world we rarely see true integrity any more.  I don't agree!  I see integrity and honesty in so many of the people around me, everyday. 

How do we live an authentic life and at the same time survive the challenges of the twenty-first century. How do we set an example of integrity for our children? I believe it starts with inner-trust.  Trusting ourselves to be honest is the first important step--honesty, not just to the people around us, but first and foremost to ourselves.

We are all, at some point filled with inner turmoil. Anxiety runs unchecked through our society, and indecision is rampant.  But by recognizing our own inner-truth means that we can be certain of the truth we see in others.

Truth and honesty are not the domain of the religious and spiritual. They are characteristics that belong to everybody.  I believe that when we ground our lives in absolute truth, regardless of beliefs, everything becomes easier. Artists know this intuitively.  Their creative passion drives them to the point of acceptance of truth.  But accepting the truth of our creativity doesn't make it easier to live an authentically creative life. Our inner critic, our self-judgement, our fears, and our denials all drive us away from the truth.

I believe that being an artist is not about being successful in the eyes of everybody else, it's about being true to ourselves, honoring our own gifts, our own passions, and our own processes.  But how many of us really live this way?  I doesn't matter!  What really matters is how many of us are working toward living this way.  After all, we're only human.

(This journal page was done with Twinkling H2O's over regular watercolor.) 

Thanks for checking in. xx