As I stated in my first post, knowing but not acting is what stands in our way of living with integrity. As I talk about living in integrity within ourselves this becomes even more important. Actually it is a key point. I can’t stress this enough – If you know but don’t act, you are not living in integrity. Our minds can overlook this but our core knows. It throws up roadblocks in the form of depression, procrastination and sometimes even physical illness. These are the tools our body and heart uses to show us we are not walking our path in integrity. If you suffer from any or all of these I suggest you take a good deep look inside yourself. In many cases it is because we are not living in integrity. There are exceptions to this of course. My own personal experience with medically diagnosed depression was actually my own refusal to live in integrity. As a former professional procrastinator I know, that is my clue to look deeper at what I am trying to avoid. I have found that anytime I begin to procrastinate it means I am avoiding something. Most of the time I find that it is something difficult that I am avoiding. Dealing with it as soon as I discover it helps keep me on my path and prevents the depression from setting in. This is the first part. You must act once you are aware. Not acting leads to procrastination, depression and eventually physical illness.
The second part is, knowing but not acting leads to the Universe throwing roadblocks in our way. Have you ever wondered why those people you work with, the ones that you think are not as smart as you, get ahead while you don’t? I think it is this principle. They don’t know any better so the Universe just serves up the good stuff. Those of us that do know better have to work harder. We have to live with more integrity. There really is something to the old statement, ignorance is bliss. I also think this is where a great deal of my instant karma comes from. When I act against my own principles the Universe stops me and says, “Nope, you know better than that”. When I head down a path that isn’t in line with my higher goals the Universe makes it as difficult as it can possibly be. Roadblocks pop up everywhere. I think it is the Universe’s way of letting me know, “Hey, this won’t go where you think it will. I am going to slow you down so you have time to think about it”. I have learned, slowly, but I have learned.
I am still trying to integrate the wisdom given to me regarding this, here is the gist of it. The Universe doesn’t punish those that are ignorant. It would be like punishing a toddler for not knowing how to drive a car. Each of us is at a different place along the path. Each of us is learning the same lessons at our own pace. We can’t fault those that aren’t at our same position on the path for being where they are. They are learning their lessons, in their time. The other side of this is, they may know things we do not. It is popular to think that just because someone doesn’t know about the things that we do they are backward, or stupid. Humans make sport of looking down upon those they determine are less than themselves. We have to look no further than our current racial issues to see this played out. It is part of our human condition to want to place ourselves above another. To think we are better than someone because of any number of things from skin color to economic status. It is ingrained in us from infancy by our families and societal programming. I won’t get on my soap box here, but I will say, ridding ourselves of this bias is part of our path to living in integrity. Realizing the gifts that each person has and brings to the table is important to our development. Allowing another to be in their place on their path is just as important. Remember, each of us is struggling to learn from our place, on our path, in our way. Learn to accept it and your steps will become lighter. Learn to respect others for their place. Who knows, you might even learn something from someone unexpected.
To wrap up my thoughts on knowing but not acting. Your own soul or heart, however you see it, will admonish you if you know but don’t act. This goes for everything in your life. Everything from tossing trash out your window, to speaking sharply to someone who doesn’t deserve it. If you know you should be dealing with something and you don’t, your heart will tell you. If you know you have acted without integrity there will be consequences. I am not trying to be overly biblical here but I honestly think this is the lesson the tree in the garden of Eden is about. Not having the knowledge of good and evil meant there were no consequences. There was no knowledge so actions were innocent. Once the knowledge was obtained the consequences set in. We are now born into a society that trains us about right and wrong from birth. Hence we are born with the original sin. We are born with the burden of living in integrity in all our deeds. You don’t have to be religious for this to affect you, it is the way we are wired. It is the human condition and we are all bound to its rules.
Next time I am going to attempt to put my thoughts about acting in integrity in the world at large into a post.