I have been struggling with integrity lately. I am not who I want to be. Have you felt this way? I was a good person, and then the world mistreated me, and I turned bad.

Why don’t I like myself? I used to have integrity, and now I don’t. Why don’t I have integrity anymore?

I don’t want to be bad. I don’t want this. I want to be good. I want to change back to being someone with integrity.

I want to trust people again. I recently stopped trusting people I used to trust, and this depresses me. I stopped trusting because someone betrayed my trust. I realize now that by not trusting people other than the person who betrayed me, I am punishing the people who did nothing wrong.

I need to compartmentalize and localize the betrayal to the specific individual who betrayed my trust. If that person is not trustworthy, it does not mean everyone else is not trustworthy.

I want to help people again. I recently stopped helping people because someone hurt me, and it scared me to think about helping someone who is hurting others. I don’t want to help someone become more able to hurt others. However, I am realizing that the desire to not help bad people has turned me into someone I don’t like: someone who doesn’t help others.

I need to compartmentalize my knowledge that there are people in this world who knowingly hurt others and not let that knowledge change me into a person who hurts others.

I want to be honest again. I have recently engaged in a habit of telling people what they want to hear because I don’t want to face the pain of them facing reality. For example, if they did something wrong, I would not tell them because I don’t want to pain them. Or, if I like something that most people don’t, I would be too afraid to say what I honestly like in case they don’t like it and reject me.

I need to compartmentalize my fear and understand when I am in danger and when I am not in danger. If I am not in danger, then I should be honest and speak my mind and say what I believe in.

I want to feel safe again. I am afraid. Afraid of being attacked. Of being unprotected. Of dying. Of not being accepted. Of danger. Of failure. Of pain. Of danger. Did I mention everything? Yea, I’m afraid of everything. And this is making me freeze up mentally, emotionally, and physically: I don’t do anything or take actions towards my goals. Instead I sit around and ‘cope’ with my fear instead of owning it and taking control of my situation and making my luck and making my future and making my security.

I want to live a life of hope and joy and strength and passion and love and excitement and risk taking. I am letting fear rule my life. I am living a life of fear. Of avoidance. I want to rediscover my strength and find the ground I can stand on and the tools I can use.

I want to feel certain again. I need to understand and accept that I will never know everything, and that shouldn’t stop me from being sure of what I am today and where I am and what I’m doing and where I’m going and why and how I’m going to get there.

I want to build assets that I own. I have been trading time for money and nothing else of value and this is eroding my life and giving me nothing. Even the money I have is becoming nothing as currency is being eroded by inflation, so the asset of currency that I’ve traded my life for is disappearing anyway. I need to stop investing my life and time into things that I don’t own and that are not valuable. I used to invest in knowledge, skills, experiences, health, happiness, and winning. I want to go back to that.

Wow Bernie Madoff Died yesterday. That timing works well for this article on integrity as he was someone who compromised his integrity to lie to his investors through a Ponzi scheme. To his credit, he admitted fault in the end, though not to his credit he was forced to admit fault by the 2008 financial crisis. He paid for his lack of integrity with the lives of two of his sons who died as a result of his actions, one through suicide and the other through the stress of the shame causing a cancer. And he and his wife attempted suicide as well but lived. He spent the last 12 years in prison and died at 84 in prison. I don’t want to end up like that. Dead in prison, ashamed of life choices and punished for them. No. The time is now to resume living a life of integrity steadfastly.

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