They say that an animal is most dangerous when it is cornered. As humans, we are not altogether different. While we do not commonly encounter lions, tigers, or grizzlies, we daily face more mundane & insidious attempts at predation. Obligations represent one of our most immediate stressors, and in defense, our bodies respond to them as though we were being hunted out on the savannah. Do we not dodge, hide & seek to escape these things? The common phrase 'he/she looks hunted' is quite apropos, standing as a subtly accurate recognition of what is often a True state of affairs.
We are taught (perhaps 'indoctrinated' is the choicer word) that Integrity means sticking to our 'word', meaning what we have agreed upon. But this can in fact create an inauthentic state within ourselves, countering the very meaning of the word Integrity (to be whole). Fragmentation often follows in the wake of the performance of an action that, while previously agreed upon, violates (goes against) the fiber (or core) of our Being. In our very intention to be Honest, to act with Integrity, we are torn in twain by our false thoughts & concepts on the subject. What I will outline in this essay may not 'feel' correct at first, but I ask that you allow yourself adequate time to reconsider the matter.
What are we to do when we agree to something that we decide is foolish later? This world would tell you that you are stuck, that you must follow through, and see said foolishness to its destructive ends. This is not Loving. As is commonly acknowledged, 'two wrongs do not make a right'. Compounding fragmentation naturally leads to further / increased fragmentation. True Integrity calls for us to admit our mistake, and make a new Loving decision based upon the present moment. Anyone who tries to hold us to a past commitment, while knowing that it violates our current state of Being, is a blackmailer, an advocate of violence.
Many times, we experience violence around us, not in the purely physical form, but in its emotional and/or mental manifestations. These types are not typically considered taboo, quite the contrary, they often fall under the heading of 'good business practices'. Is this not the core of most of our current means of marketing? Is this not the entire basis of contract law? Many successful, 'well-respected' individuals have focused their lives around the clever manipulation of others, albeit at times with the 'good intentions' of forcing others to be better people. One cannot end force through forceful means. We Americans should understand this perhaps better than any other nation on Earth, we cannot bomb peoples into peace. And yet, we persist. Is this the American Way? As a nation, we may wish to reexamine our actions.
Ultimately, any contract, obligation, agreement that must be enforced is done through forceful means. This is what our entire justice system exists to provide. It has come to such dominance in our society because yes, many do not do as they agree to. But think, do you Truly want someone else to do the right thing because they have a proverbial gun to their head? This engenders Fear, Fear being the exact energy of the cornered animal of our introduction. When we in ourselves begin to agree with our inner guidance more often, and we begin Forgiving ourselves & others their occasional bouts of fragmented hype, we will realize that what we Truly desire from others is not merely right action, but right Hearts.
We must become patient, waiting for right Hearts to internally lead others to right actions. This requires Faith. Faith in the Inner Spark to 'do its work'. Who are we to decide the timing of the Divine? Who are we to demand from others that which the Divine Principle itself has not yet laid upon their Hearts? If we are not in alignment with the Divine Principle, then we will experience frustration, for each & every time that we surrender to our own Divine Spark, that 'Peace which passes all understanding' is granted us. Our duty is to provide opportunities for others to do the 'right thing', and by surrendering via Faith to the Divine's timeline, share this gift of Peace with others, no matter what happens.
We must seek Peace above personal gain, above our own belief of what is 'right'. We do not know the ways of the Divine, and if we are questioning them, we are not centered. Whenever we experience frustration, pressure, unkind thoughts, etc, we can be sure that we are uncentered. We must learn to worry less about others, and spend our energies in maintaining an internally unfragmented state, a state of connection with our Divine Spark, that will always give us the strength to be peaceful in the face of any conditions.
I leave you now with one of the greatest observations ever written:
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV)