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What Do You Value?

Who Are You?

I was recently asked about my own journey in life–questions like What do I value? As I started to answer what I valued, the first word that came out of my mouth was truth. From there I was asked What does ‘truth’ mean to you? We were drilling down to the essence of what I truly valued. As we were talking, or shall I say as I was talking, I saw that as I was hearing these words come out of my mouth, they had to be my deepest truth, or why else would I say them?

It was almost as if I started to feel detached from my words. I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t just spewing out words that had no true meaning for me. I thought about it. After all, there are times when I speak my truth and don’t always lead with my best self. I talk about truth, kindness, love, fairness, compassion, and equality. And, yet, I’m not always displaying these things. Perhaps the reason is because I sometimes get so angry, yes, angry, when I experience and/or witness people NOT being these things. I think why am I the one who is walking the walk when a lot of the time people are walking right into me? Literally. Why am I dodging, maneuvering, and throwing up my hands to other people’s lack of care and interest in their fellow human beings? This is what I’m thinking.

There are days when I utter under my breath, You’re a fucking idiot. That’s my truth on THAT particular day. Yes, I think that! Stepping back, I understand that I’m passionate about my values because it bothers me that others aren’t as thoughtful. I really don’t care that you’re deep in thought or distracted. When you’re out in the world, BE in the world. Present. Aware. Kind. Compassionate. 

I kid myself when I say, It’s ok. It doesn’t bother me. I’m bigger than my problems and all of that bullshit. And, yet, in real life we are constantly interacting in one way or another unless, of course, you’ve barricaded yourself in your home never to be seen again. As I’m talking about my values, I’m noting that words are powerful. Powerful. They shape the expression of us. So, why then am I walking by stores that have messages of love, compassion, joy, inner peace, to find that the experiences IN the store are anything BUT the messages they conveyed?

The messages and behavior around the messages are opposite. So, when I go back to my first value being “truth,” I want to make sure that I value it in a way that echoes my behavior. This applies to you and your life. If you are espousing the value in which you embody, then BE that. If you experience the opposite, then you need to re-evaluate and/or start to shift your mindset. 

Imagine if everyone paused and considered what it meant to be a human being living in a society that we created. We are all responsible and accountable for our actions. Period. I can’t imagine why anyone really wants to be an idiot. They’re not really. They’re simply struggling with themselves, with their anger. It’s our life conditions and circumstances that have either derailed and/or convinced us that we need to be this way. That is why we are not practicing kindness, respect, or living our truth. The truth is that fear can take over our lives if we let it. When we are fearful, we are resistant to taking action. Any positive action that could better us is squashed by our own lack of respect and love that we have for ourselves.

I was speaking with a woman who mentioned that she was paralyzed to lead her life because she was brought up in such a negative environment in which she was told on a daily basis that she was no good. Imagine that! Imagine being told repeatedly that you’re no good by a person that you expect to have your best interest at heart. Take a step back in time and you’ll see that that person telling her that she was no good was, I’m sure, told the same thing by his/her parents. And so, it goes– until she breaks the pattern.

This starts with you. This is why boundaries are so important. Did you know that the happiest people are the ones that set the most boundaries? Why? — because of the very reason you’re told on a daily basis that you’re no good. How could that possibly serve you well? How?

When I say that you need to ask the hard questions, I mean that you really need to ask yourself the hard questions. This goes back to the first question: Who are you?

As I’m writing, I’m looking around at the many people walking by, those on their phone, talking with others, distracted. The first thought is not What are you thinking? It is What are you feeling?

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    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

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