Meriam-Webster has three senses listed for its entry on integrity:
1 : firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility
2 : an unimpaired condition : soundness
3 : the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness
The first sense of upholding and living by a code of standards is what the word brought to my mind in the past. In that sense, I see that failure is already set up because I have defined and given it being as a possibility. Failure is on the sidelines waiting to be invoked when I perceive myself as slipping or wavering. And. so with the second sense of “soundness”, “unimpaired”, “flawed” arises in my world. The third sense “completeness”, isn’t “lacking” intrinsic? Perhaps, it is when I decide the terms of what it is to be complete.
The English word “integrity” itself is derived from the Latin word integer meaning “entire”. As entirety, integrity is my world as it is. It is not dependant on my standards or values or anyone else’s. It is just “there” as I find it. In its entirety, it is just present; nothing lacking, nothing superfluous.
This integrity is shattered within my mind. My “self” is locked into division and confusion. Its ultimate concern being its own preservation. Fear, want, dread, pleasure and pain taint everything causing distances to appear. Integrity is lost in the gaps and gulfs that separate “me” from “the others”.
If my self is the cause of this turmoil, then integrity has to be reclaimed in the self. Gaps and gulfs are perceived when my self is predisposed by fear and doubt into seeing threats and conflicts out there in the world. A fearful, uncertain self is something that the universe lacks. It is an ongoing ebbing and waning of motion. Without a divided self, there is nothing to discern beginnings and endings, desirable and undesirable, this and that. The universe is filled, whole, and lacks nothing in each moment.
So, integrity is not something that is missing in the world or my life. It is there waiting to be cleared of the clutter my doubting and fearful self has thrown on to it. The work to be done lies in me to first clean myself of the defensive barriers against the enemies and threats that I myself have created. Then live in and move along with the freedom that integrity brings.