I was having dinner with a guy friend of mine the other night who mentioned something about my integrity and I told him that lately I've been realizing (and grieving over) the fact that I have never seen how valuable it is. I told him that I always thought that everyone had it. In fact I used to think that everybody had it put together and I was completely fucked up.
He said, "I can't believe with your personality that you even feel unsure at all."
Which of course is crazy because everyone feels unsteady sometimes, but I thought about what he said and people have always seen it in me. I just couldn't see it in myself.
I told him about one of the first times recently that I was able to be in my body and own my own integrity.
I was on date with this guy who took me out on his boat, then to dinner.
At dinner, he started talking about this public person — "a friend of his" — who has a rough image. He said that they are really nice in person.
I said, "Well they probably don't get treated like that.”
He proceeded to argue with me about how your persona didn't need to match up with who you were.
And I said, "I didn't say that. I said that person probably doesn't get treated like a nice person."
He asked me why.
I said, "Because niceness is not what they built their career on." I also said that I had compassion because sometimes something works once and you get carried away with it.
He said, "So you're saying they sold out?"
I said, "No, I'm saying that they might have gotten carried away with the image that they were putting out."
He still didn't get it.
I said, "You went to college right? Then you understand that every action has a reaction."
I also said, "That wouldn't work for me because it would make me sad and lonely. I need who I am to match up with my work."
To which he responded, "Oh I get it, you want to win and you want to win the right way."
I left that dinner thinking, What the hell just went on? I felt a little scared and a little ashamed.
I talked it over with a few friends and realized that he was defending himself. He wants to be a good guy inside but do bad things at work.
He wanted me to conform to his ideas without having any opinion even though I didn't realize that we were talking about him until after I left.
Essentially he would have liked it if I stopped being me so he could feel better about himself, and he was doing it through this so called "I have a friend" story.
This was the first time I held my own with someone like that, without taking someone else down, meaning I didn't have to talk poorly about the other person, like when he said "you're saying they sold out."
Because in the past sometimes it would come out purely and naturally, like it did, because that's usually how integrity comes out, and people would say "Sue we're not all like you" and I would be filled with shame and hide or say something bad about someone when I didn't even mean anything bad.
Also, that was the first time I walked away from a date and that shamed and scared me. In the past that would have turned me on.
I never called the guy again.
So, now I'm sitting at dinner with my friend telling him this story — mind you he knows how much I have struggled (emotionally, financially, etc) to write my show — and they said, "Sue you didn't sell out, you could have dated the guy with a boat so he could take care of you."
Ha! See? People see it. I would never date someone for money. The only reason I would have ended up anywhere near that guy is if I was still addicted to the shame and wanted to hide my light in his dark
But thankfully, that ship has sailed!!