Integrity. What does it mean? Different things to different people, that’s for sure. To me, integrity is not just about how I treat others, but about being true to myself. It’s about admitting things that I find hard to admit, rather than sweeping them under a convenient carpet. I am full of flaws. Life is not perfect. We sometimes have to make sacrifices to bring about real change. The best omelettes start with broken eggs. Some of the most enduring and beautiful things ever said or made were born out of pain. Some of the happiest people have had the most turbulent journeys. Life is not tidy. We cannot label our thoughts, feelings and emotions – our very souls – box them up and stack them away. There are no real rules to deal with the beautiful complications of being human, although men will always strive to write them. We are quick to invent any number of creative strategies to cope with loss, betrayal, love, longing, loneliness, hurt, desolation, anger, unhappiness (and the list goes on), but how effective can they really be? Like paracetamol, they can take away the pain but fail to address the root cause. Why don’t we listen to our own hearts better and draw on our personal creative resources rather than trust the potted wisdom of people to whom we and our unique situation mean nothing? To me, it is important to feel the pain, know the truth, face my fears and burn the bridges that I have to burn to reach the things that matter to me and support the people that I love. I do not believe that I am compromised by any of this; rather it proves to me that I have tried with all my heart, even when I have failed. I will not run away from my challenges, fail to face up to difficulty or bury my head in the sand. This, to me, is integrity. It is not a comfortable spot, but it is peaceful.