Jan 25, 2010

WORD OF THE WEEK: Integrating Integrity

Summary: Take a look this week at two very similar words that share the same root word to incorporate wholeness—by usage and by definition. Then see how well you can incorporate them—into your vocabulary and into your life—today.

I heard a word on the radio today that caught my attention and caused me to drift off into word-land (my own little world), pondering its similarity to another word that's a favorite of mine. Then, of course, I used my most-trusted online dictionary, Merriam-Webster.com, to look them both up and learn a little more. Now I want to share that knowledge with you.

First, let's look at the root word they both share: integer, Latin for whole. Mathematically, you may already know, an integer is a non-fraction number. Something that's untouched, or undivided, is an integer. And something that's an integral piece to a greater whole is that which cannot be taken from the main without disintegrating it. ... Are you seeing a pattern yet?

This week's words are:

Integrate (IN - teh - GRAYT)—a verb meaning to combine parts in order to make them into a whole—and integrity (in - TEH - greh - TEE), which is a noun that means uncorrupted virtue, perfect condition, and wholeness, often in the individual.

Last week, we began exploring ways we can personally integrate the virtue of integrity (honesty, true morality) into ourselves and our lives completely. Exploring your feelings—and truly being honest with yourself about what they are, even if the honest answer is, "I don't know what I'm feeling"—is the perfect place to start the integration of inner integrity. The more you practice such self-honesty, the more aware you allow yourself to become, so that you can be truly incorruptible. Eventually, you may even become able to admit, "I'm feeling overwhelmed," until finally, you're able to separate and name the various feelings that contribute to your being overwhelmed: "I feel sad and embarassed and guilty; ultimately, I feel overwhelmed."

The more personal integrity you can demonstrate when you review your emotions, the better you can integrate them to become whole and happy again. Remember: Integrating some personal, emotional integrity is the fastest cure for alexithymia.

© KiKi Productions, Inc. 2010

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