There I was, standing in front of the open freezer arguing with my mind.  And in this battle against myself I knew I was losing.

“I have an agreement to stick to a specific food plan that does not include ice cream.”

“BUT you really really really want ice cream.”

“I do but, I want to keep my agreements.”

“No you don’t.  Because if you did, you’d throw out this ice cream right now, and remove the temptation from your life.”

“I don’t want to do that.  Throwing it out would be a waste of money.”

“You’re right, and you wouldn’t want to be wasteful.”

“I’m being SO good and not wasteful!”

And consequently within fifteen minutes I’d scarfed down the ice cream, because I simply could not bring myself to throw it out.   Totally realizing all the while that I simply was justifying doing something I knew I shouldn’t be doing.

A few days later I found myself in almost identical argument.  And I could feel myself losing again.  The difference being this time, when I got to the part where I latched on to the rationalization of “but I don’t want to be wasteful,” I heard myself ask, “Your integrity isn’t worth throwing out $1.50 worth of ice cream? Really? Your integrity isn’t worth $1.50?”

That was it.  The magic moment, and the magic question.  One in which, I could no longer remain blind to my hallow rationalizations.  And into the garbage went the remainder of the ice cream.  My integrity is worth more to me than anything, and when presented with how I was really valuing (with an actual dollar amount) my integrity, my rationalizing mind could no longer have control over my choices.

And my new practice is over the past couple of weeks, when I feel myself wanting to bail on my plans and agreements (in any arena of my life) is to ask myself, “What is my integrity worth right now? Is this cost worth losing my integrity?”