This post is a cheat because it was written for an entirely different purpose than a blog. But…
The last time I saw my uncle was in his hospital bed. A place that seemed so out of place for someone so young and especially someone with his discoball personality. But even from that bed, his personality glittered through.
Earlier in the year his consultant had made a special visit to the ward to wish him happy birthday and the nurses bought him a cake, surrounded his bed and sang to him.
As overwhelmingly sad as it was the moment when he passed away, there was also a sense of perfect peace in the room, an expression of perfect peace on his face. I think my uncle had that peace because he was exactly the same on the inside as he was on the outside.
If he was happy, he was really happy. If he was peaceful, he was completely peaceful. If he loved you, he really loved you. I felt that about him ever since I was a very small child.
For me, being exactly the same on the inside as you are on the outside is the definition of integrity and that was one of his special gifts…
I wouldn’t have been able to write this eulogy even last week. But a few days ago, my apparently fearless coach gave me my biggest ass kicking to date by holding up a mirror to areas of my life where integrity was but a speck on the horizon.
As has become customary at this point in a session, I felt an overwhelming urge to punch somebody… because this uncomfortable reflection was true. URGH!
My ego was splattered, cartoon style, all over the floor but it was a well timed wake up call…
It told me that the quiet kind of happiness that my uncle had doesn’t come from big, showy, one-off gestures. It comes from creating and taking the little opportunities that come up every day to embody your values. From refusing to use a disposable cup for your coffee to asking a difficult question when it would be more comfortable to stay quiet.
Integrity is being exactly the same on the outside as you are on the inside.
Bravery is the journey you take between the inside and the outside to make this real every day.
Being a disco ball is what happens when light shines on a person who is really living their values…
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