Most marriages (and most relationships) are built on a promise. Sometimes the promise is spoken, like in wedding vows. Other times it's unspoken, like when you just know your best friend has your back.
Keeping promises is how you gain trust, and trust is the soul of a lasting relationship.
The way you gain or lose trust is by keeping promises, or breaking them.
When you know someone loves you, it can be easy to justify breaking a promise or commitment. After all, they love you... they'll understand and forgive you. Especially when they hear your incredibly compelling and valid excuses and justifications.
To justify means "to prove to be right or reasonable." Unfortunately, those who are constantly making reasonable excuses never get to experience an unreasonable love.
How often do you show up with integrity vs. showing up with an excuse for yourself and others?
Keep you promises. Start by keeping them today. Keep them with yourself. Keep them with those you love. Then start again with tomorrow. The roots of trust grow slowly, but when they sink deep, the fruits of love that come as a result will change your life.
It's inherently easy to love people when we know we can trust them. The best friend who would be there without question in a moment of need. The parental figure who would cross the globe on the next available flight if they were worried about you. The significant other that shows up every day without question, and chooses you.
As humans, we crave connection... and let's face it, the only people we truly let into our hearts are those we really trust.
So, how do we gain trust? Well, the most basic element of trust is integrity.
Integrity, put simply, is doing what you say you will do.
I've recently become fascinated with the topic of integrity. In the last few months I've had my life turned upside down. All of that chaos has provided me with a long, hard look at my life from a brand new perspective. One thing has become very apparent: the majority of the pain I've caused myself and caused others in life can be traced back to a lack of integrity on my part.
There have been moments where I've avoided being honest to preserve my pristine reputation. There have been times I've indulged in selfish behaviors despite knowing my actions were inconsistent with my values. I've said mean things in an attempt to be funny, and hurt people I cared about. I've buried the flaws I don't want others to see in order to avoid looking broken and human.
When I do these things, I feel a pang in my gut. It's a feeling that washes over me screaming, "You're not being authentic! That's not who you are!" I'm flooded with guilt and shame. I sacrifice my integrity to avoid looking stupid, and although it might fool people in to liking me more in the moment, with time they always figure out the truth, and I'm left feeling like a fraudulent human being.
Living with integrity, though not always easy, is the key to renewed self-esteem, healthy relationships, and quiet confidence.
Talk is Cheap Because We Make It Cheap
The thing I love most about Josh and Jenny is that they have mastered the art of integrity. One of their family mottos is "We don't talk about doing cool stuff. We DO cool stuff."
They don't just talk about creating memories together. They wake up on Saturday mornings and celebrate the weekend with special pancake breakfasts and smoothies! They slow dance in the kitchen with each other. They pull over their car in the middle of a road trip to make out in the rain.
They don't just talk about putting their kids first, they completely reinvent their careers to make sure they get to spend as much meaningful time together as a family as possible.
They don't just talk about going to Europe one day. They check their kids out of school, buy plane tickets, and find a place to stay for 4 months.
There is something to be said about knowing the person next to you is going to do exactly what they say they will do. Ever. Single. Day. It creates space for a special kind of love that few people get to share... the love that comes with perfect trust, confidence, and commitment.
It's this kind of integrity that allows the Solars to say "yes" to adventure. They can literally see something that excites them, make a decision to pursue it, and trust with complete confidence that it will happen... because when they say something, they do it.
Integrity gives you power in love and in life. Integrity is the essence of creation. And integrity is such an incredibly simple principle to put into practice. It starts with yourself.
Where do you lack integrity in your life? Is it your health? Is it being reliable and on time? Is it putting in an honest day's work? Is it being honest in your relationships? Start improving your integrity today. Make a commitment to have perfect integrity in one area of your life, and then do it. Adventure, opportunity, and connection are sure to follow.
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Check out the Solar's amazing website, The Happy Family Movement. It will inspire you.
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