When it comes to having integrity of character, it all begins with gratitude
Letting our appetites, aversions, and impulses drive us costs us plenty. We can feel pretty good in moments. But low points inevitably follow. In the process of riding that roller coaster, our soul begins to die. Mindfulness is key to purposeful living. At any given moment we have a choice. We can allow baser inclinations to rule. Or, we can put ourselves squarely at the service of a higher cause. Fully and freely turning ourselves over to something bigger is liberating. Free from the slavery of what usually drives us, we begin to live purposefully and abundantly.
A life governed by the pursuit of comfort and security breeds a type of spiritual emptiness. But a more vast and wondrous existence awaits those who allow faith and not fear to rule.
Facing and embracing the truth about ourselves is hard. But when we do, we can become incredibly empowered. The truth truly does have power to set us free. And it can wrest us from the shackles hindering our spiritual and character growth.
Egomaniacal characters are grandiose narcissists. And their grandiosity sometimes borders on the delusional.
Self-esteem is about our sense of what we have going for us. Self-respect is more about what we have done with our gifts. And both reflect the kind of relationship we have with a “higher power.”
Because we live in an era of unprecedented narcissistic entitlement, it’s harder than ever to see this precious life we enjoy for what it fundamentally is: an unearned gift.
To be genuinely open, we have to accept the inevitability of pain. And if we don’t transform any pain we do experience, we’re certain to transmit it.
Sound character requires that we outgrow our innate egocentricity. And it’s more than an emotional or psychological exercise. It’s a profound spiritual undertaking.
A person who’s been converted doesn’t relate the way they used to. Their whole manner of seeing and doing is different. It’s an observable change. And one that’s consistent over time.