Adherence to a code of values.
In working with the character I am writing about it dawned on me today that it was a very short time ago that I lost my integrity. I have gained it back, and it has been hard won, but I didn't realize until developing this character how far gone I was, even as late as a couple of weeks ago. Without going into too much detail, as I am trying to move forward in my life, I was a liar, a cheat, a victim, an absolutely ugly human being. I held others to moral standards that I refused to live up to myself. I thought I was right and the rest of the world was wrong, or out to get me, or didn't care about me. The opposite was true, I was dead wrong, the world or universe was trying to help me, and there were many who cared about me. I destroyed completely what had the potential to be a very good relationship with a man who loved me and who I loved very much. I changed forever the interactions I have with my family and friends, and had to start my life completely over with very little caring support because I destroyed the support handed to me. I wore everyone out in my rantings, dissatisfaction and vitriolic behavior.
The good news is that integrity lost is not necessarily lost forever. As I said, I have gained it back and protect it carefully and lovingly. I am honest as I dare to be, omitting rather than confessing that which will hurt me; I don't cheat for what I think will benefit me because I know the truth is that I lose my self-respect; most of all I am not a victim. I can no longer blame others for my failings. They are mine alone, and I don't have to live in them. I can move on and create new and useful lessons that will ultimately bring me the success I want. I want that success to be as a good and decent human being and I coming to the conclusion that while not perfect, I can only do the best I can every day and at the end of the day know that I did what I did to live in the integrity that helps me sleep at night.