Saturday, February 11, 2012
I was listening to a motivational speaker explaining that “we are not our values.”
Intrigued and curious, I listened intently for enlightenment on what it was he was about to share with us.
His words did more than turn on a light bulb; they offered refreshment and a deep sense of self-acceptance and respect for who we are, each of us, as whole individuals.
Our values, those intrinsic things we hold dear, cannot be mistaken for who we are as a whole person. To fully identify myself, for instance, as joyfulness, inspiration, exuberance, humor, and light, is to brand myself with values that I do not always feel or show. Thus, if I profess to be the things I value, I become a hypocrite whenever I feel low, sad, confused, angry, or disconnected from others.
It is true that our individual values are important to us … very important. They are what we cherish, what we strive for, what we want to be remembered as, and they are the best part of us that we have to offer the world. But, we are also people who experience real, human emotions.
The truth is that some days we feel anything but the pull of our values. This is not to say that these values are no longer important to us. It simply means that we feel the heavier side of life for the moment.
There is a hidden treasure here.
Our whole-person experiences are what allow us to understand others. People around us experience the good and the bad, the happy, the sad, just as we do. If we were any different, how on earth could we ever be a true and understanding soul to them? How could we feel for them in their sorrow, their heartache, and their tears?
Joy flows back to us more quickly when we don’t allow our imperfections to frighten us. Life is more manageable, more authentic, and more compassionate towards us when we accept our darkness and light like the ebb and flow of the waves.
Indeed, it is folly to identify ourselves with a set of ideals, demanding that we must not ever be seen for our lesser human traits.
I value honesty, laughter, inspiration, unconditional love, excellence, mastery, learning, and joyful connection with others. I seek to move towards those things always. But, I must also accept that I sometimes feel less than my values. I feel aches, pains, sadness, frustration, and anger. It is my intention to move through these moments as swiftly as possible, aiming for the light of my values once more.
It is my greater intention to be a blessing for you, for myself, and for everyone along my path.
Am I always inspired? No, but I seek to let all things inspire me in some way.