love, life, and the pursuit of liberation
I need to let y’all in on a little secret. While some may think that this Monday marks the return to work after a holiday or the last week in the month or the final shopping days left before Christmas, I have to tell you that today is the first, the first moment to take action for the rest of your life.
Now before you go shave your head or quit your job, I have something less drastic but insanely powerful for you to try. I have a short exercise that will help you get define your core values, which is the place from which you should be acting. But first, I need to tell you some truth about myself.
The truth is that I haven’t always been clear with myself about what my own core values are. I had a hazy idea of their direction but their diaphanous nature led me to have fuzzy lines and boundaries. It’s easy to morph into someone else’s idea of you if you aren’t clear who the real YOU is. And living in someone’s vision is both a recipe for failure, as well as the opposite of integrity and authenticity and honor of self. I’m tired of that. So very tired. I’m in the process of changing my life from the inside out, and I wanted to have a more concrete way of gauging if I’m on the right path. So I came up with these questions to elucidate my core values. Hopefully, they’ll prompt you to do the same.
(I kid you NOT, as soon as I got to this paragraph, Chrisette Michele’s “Number One” came on. God’s winks, presence, and confirmation are amazing.)
Two questions that will help you get to the root of who YOU are
1- What are the characteristics and beliefs that you’ve always had and always will?
2- What are the attributes, traditions, or relationships that when they are missing, feel uncomfortable, uneasy, and make you feel off-kilter?
I will share a few core values that might seem obvious to you all but are now a part of how I choose my actions and relationships.
1- I value an intimate relationship with God beyond church affiliation or even tradition.
2- I value service and caring for the “least of these”
3- I value compassion and thoughtfulness, seeing the best in people.