I take a step back today to answer some concerns from readers about my decision to write about George Eliot a few days ago. Under the umbrella of the Integrity theme, it seems odd that I would have chosen to write about a woman who lied about her identity… So I have some explaining to do…
My post started off with the discovery of the quote: “Keep true, never be ashamed of doing right, decide on what you think is right and stick to it.” — George Eliot.
Her words are strong, bold even, clearly showing the way forward. I immediately thought of my journey to reach my Life Dream. To know deep inside what is right, being true to myself and taking the steps to reach my objective… that is what Integrity on my path is all about.
Mary Ann Evans lived in the 19th century. This is the Victorian era in England. As a woman with ambition in a society dominated by men, she had to make a decision to follow her Life Dream. She used the pen name George Eliot to ensure that her work would be taken seriously. Her borrowed name allowed her to gain respect as an author.
There were two things she knew to be true deep down in her core:
- that (even) as a woman, she could write content of substance. Her work was of the same quality as those of her male counterparts and she would accept nothing but to be taken seriously as an author. She believed that society was wrong in generalizing women’s work and she would not let that stand in her way. She kept her Integrity, she kept true to her conviction and her dream by creating her male identity and proving them wrong.
- that society in the 19th century was also wrong in restricting personal freedom. The second reason for her anonymity that I didn’t mention in my previous post is that she lived with a married man. Stop before you judge! That man’s wife had children from several affairs but because this man had accepted the children as his own, as conspiracy to adultery, the church refused to allow him an annulment. Since he was stuck in his marriage, he came to a separation agreement with his wife. So once again, keeping true to what she believed was the right thing to do, going against the ridiculous rules set by men of authority, Mary Ann did what she thought was right for her path. Her relationship, although a struggle in keeping away from scandal, proved to be highly beneficial for her.
Therefore, living in the 19th century, George Eliot was a woman who kept her Integrity; she kept true to herself, to her beliefs, to her path and to her Life Dream. She offered the world the best of herself by doing what she needed to do, what she knew was right, without shame.
It is thanks to women like her that my words have power today.
She offers us great inspiration in keeping with our truth, our Integrity.