What do You Value?
It is a choice.
Oftentimes, it might seem like our values are some kind of static thing. That shouldn’t be tampered with. I mean, values are important. Right?
But yet, we all have different values. Sometimes completely different values. So, which ones are “right?” And thus, which ones are “wrong”? Is there a fundamental measuring stick that we can use, and know if we are in the right?
Going back to where we get our values, we could look at our family of origin. The programming of our egos, if you will. If your were born on a farm, your family values might be … to be reliable. To have a strong work ethic. To be responsible. It wouldn’t work too well if you decided you didn’t want to water the crops or feed the livestock. Those values would be fundamental to the success of the farm.
And yet, if you were born into a religious household, and perhaps one or both of the parents were church leaders, those family values could be completely different. It might be important to appear “righteous.” To be seen as wholesome and living your life in the faith. To not sin or be seen as a “sinner.”
There are as many sets of values as you might imagine. When we are growing up, our parents teach us the names (symbols) of everything. This is a chair. This is a house. This is a bible. This is a ranch. And then, we would be taught the value of each of these things, with each family dynamic conveying the values of the household.
But the value of our values is not static. We do have the ability to change our values, and we are not necessarily betraying our self or our soul. In fact, it might be the intention of our soul to choose a family to be born into, with perhaps just the opposite values that we would eventually take on. For myself, I had just this type of experience. I was born into a very staunch religious household. Where religion was, by far, the most important value of the household. Not only was this religion very prominent in our family, but it was the core religion of the entire town. A town that was probably 99% Mormon. This made for a very odd experience for myself. The whole town was living a single faith. A single belief system. I would ask the same question to virtually anyone in town and I would get essentially the same answer. It really felt like I was living on an episode of the TV show “Twilight Zone.” Everyone was thinking the very same thing. And my family had one of the most intense attachments to this belief system.
Of course, as a small child, I didn’t have the wherewithal to challenge the narrative. But as I got into my teen years, I certainly started to question it all. I, as a result of not being able to question anything as a child, ended up wanting to question everything. I would end up challenging the very values I was raised with. My soul chose a situation that would create a very independent mindset within me. Fast forward several decades, and you might say I am a free-range philosopher, in that I gladly challenge all of the narratives that I bump up against. This has given me a new value system of sorts. Challenge everything, no matter who is saying it. A completely different value system than I was raised in.
What are the value system(s) of your family of origin? Do you still resonate with them? Are they still serving you and your life purpose?
The values we are raised in can be the source of conflict and struggle too. Oftentimes, problems in relationships stem from an incongruity in accepted values. If one partner has strong values based on being seen as “correctly” dressed, where appearances are critical, and the other partner in the relationship doesn’t share the same values, where it doesn’t matter if your clothes match, then this can create a rift of sorts. Or perhaps it is important to keep the house immaculate, making sure nothing is out of place at all. As it might be a “bad” reflection of themselves. Versus not caring if their shirt is wrinkled and the laundry is all over the floor. So which one(s) are correct? You got it. It depends on who you are asking.
There is a tug-of-war, so to speak, regarding our collective values. It is pretty easy to see huge rifts in our collective mindsets. So many people are pushing their values on the collective, expecting the collective to move into alignment with their personal values. Whether they are based on a religion, a sexual preference, or some fundamental form of governance. Which one(s) shall we collectively adopt?
I would suggest a baseline measuring stick here. I would defer to the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or other similar ideas. Do no harm might be another one. Then there is the idea that there is no “others.” That we are all one. That whatever I do to another, I am essentially doing that thing to myself. That whatever I put out, I get back.
What are your values? Perhaps it would serve you well to contemplate your core values. To gain clarity about them. This will help you make choices that serve you. Where you are honoring your core values in your thoughts, beliefs and actions. This will help you be (more) authentic to yourself. Pure Authentic You!