There are phases in life where it seems that things are out of balance. A sense of uneasiness just beneath the surface. Things just don’t feel right. You often can’t immediately put your finger on the cause of the feelings, but you recognize they are there. More often than not, this uneasiness stems from the fact that we may have not been living according to our values. It’s an easy thing to do because too many people have not taken the time to truly uncover and develop their values. Namely their core values.
We will often simply carry forward our parent’s values unbeknownst to us. These are the unspoken family beliefs and rituals that have been passed on through the generations. Like the idea that the woman is to handle all the housework, the man is to work a fulltime job, or maybe two or three jobs, the kids are to do chores, or they are to go to college, and on it goes. These beliefs are not all bad, but they are often lived by without ever asking why? An even better example of this would be when your family sits down for dinner together, are there assigned seats? And did these seats get assigned overtly or are the seats simply where each person has always sat?
Take some time this week and examine your values. Where did they come from? Are you living from them or are you adapting to what others value instead? The best way to start this is to take some time for you and be still. Reflect back on the day or the past several days and consider the motivations behind your actions. Specifically examine the things that feel undone. The times when you felt uneasy during and after. Those feelings most likely can be linked back to your values.
To live more freely from your core, you must first uncover what you believe deep down in your gut. This is an uncovering, not a creating. I believe the core values in life are something you are born with. Which are then often covered up by expectations of others and the desire to “fit in.” To uncover them, seek solitude. Not isolation, but time to focus on your center, your heart. What do you truly believe about yourself; others; life; family; love; marriage; God; work?
Taking the time to examine what you believe at the core will open the possibility of life becoming more effortless. When you live from your values, a synergy is created in the things you spend your time doing. More fulfillment and satisfaction in life becomes a distinct possibility. And when life hits rough spots (which will still happen), they don’t seem to last as long or be as damaging when your values are guiding the way.
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