I wrote a paper on Tupac Shakur in college.
Not that I was or am a huge fan of his, but I love hip hop.
It is my first musical love.
And I felt like I’d have plenty to write about this character.
And I did.
I researched about him,
listened to his music,
studied the lyrics,
brainstormed about him.
In the end, my paper was about how contradictory he was as an artist.
He rapped about hoes and gettin around,
and then about his love for his mom.
It bothered me a lot back then.
I wrote the paper pointing out his incongruencies and inconsistencies,
damning him for his hypocrisy and two-faced-ness.
I had a thing for integrity.
I wanted to be seen the same in all lights, from all angles, in all ways.
And so, I projected my distaste for “misalignment” in that paper.
A decade down the line, I can see where I was caught up.
And I realize, that actually, integrity does not mean everything you say lines up to a tee.
I realize now, that as humans, we are multi-faceted, multi-dimensional, multi-colored, multi-everything.
We aren’t created to portray the same image, the same perception from different angles,
or fit into a box, even if we created it ourselves.
We are everything and everything is us.
We aren’t the same from even this second to the next.
We are constantly absolutely evolving, flowing, or in some cases, being even more blocked than the moment before.
In whatever case, the basis of humanity is that we are ever-shifting, ever-changing, ever-transforming.
Even when what we say in one moment disagrees with what we say in another moment, we are in integrity with who and what we are in any given moment.
Even when someone is saying something that doesn’t align with their actions, they are in integrity with where they are with themselves in that moment.
I realize now, integrity isn’t necessarily what one can strive for, though it’s still up there for me when it comes to how I want to walk in the world.
Integrity isn’t an image.
We get to choose our flow, our way of being, our integrity.
That might sound contradictory, but in the end, no one but the person knows actually what’s going on inside.
No one but YOU knows what you are actually feeling, thinking, being.
Only YOU knows what is in integrity, what is true for you.
There is not one other being on this planet, dead or alive, that knows this.
And so, your integrity lies deep within you,
within your awareness,
your understanding and experience of truth – in this moment.
And that changes, moment to moment.
There’s a freedom then, in what it means to be and live in integrity.
It means that if YOU are aligned with yourself, your truth, your connection with God, Spirit, universe, you are good.
You are solid.
If you know that you know that you know that only you know what is true for you, then everything else fades, doesn’t it?
Everything else is noise,
accessorizing our experience on earth, but never truly speaking to or having weight on the actual experience of what it means to be US,
what it means to live our lives.
I see Tupac as an artist.
I see that he knew that he knew that he knew what the fuck was up with him.
I see that that was all he needed.
His being with himself, choosing himself, trusting himself, regardless of what that looks like.
He’d probably laugh at what I’m writing because he was so deep in himself that it probably didn’t even feel like a choice to him.
He just WAS Tupac.
He didn’t know how to be otherwise.
It stands out to me, because – and Idk about you – I lived most of my life thinking that being in integrity or anything else is about me putting out that image,
being perceived a certain way,
or even NOT being perceived a certain way.
I have chosen again and again and again that I AM the creator of ME,
that NO ONE knows me or my inner workings or my awareness or my everything-ness.
It’s completely absolutely totally an inside job.
And that is the beauty of Life.
It’s inside you.
What you see in the mirror,
what people think of you,
even the actions you take, the words you speak,
are ACCESSORIES to WHO and WHAT you truly actually are.
They represent and illustrate a fragment of you in a MOMENT, but they are NOT you.
The Real You is the being-ness within,
the truth that can only be experienced,
encapsulated in the spaciousness and vastness of your soul.
I love how my view of Tupac evolved over the years, as I evolved.
That’s how it goes, isn’t it?
I see the world as I am (taken from a quote somewhere, not gonna bother looking up where I heard it).
The physical world reflects my inner world.
Which, to me, translates to: Who I am is embedded within me, not defined by the expression of it in physical time-space reality.
The expression simply flows from the being-ness within, moment to moment.