What is it that you value? There are all types of things we value in this life. Things we are supposed to value, things we feel embarrassed to value but secretly do anyway. There are things we value because our parents valued them, our country values them or our communities value them. How do we discover our true values, the ones we personally hold as having the greatest worth? And how do we know the ones we are so sure we value are not symbolic of something else deeper, that gets to the base level of our core. Good freaking question right. This can be a touchy issue. Values are very personal, especially if you identify a few that go against the normally excepted value system. Why are those there anyway? It is sometimes difficult to think for yourself. Sometimes we think we are thinking for ourselves and don't even realize that we are falling victim to a total misconception of the truth. What is the truth? The truth is our authentic self. It is not observations of the world or the people that move within it. We don't have too look outside ourselves for the truth that is with in us, that is our SELF. Who are you? You will realize the answer by identifying your core values, the things that stir emotion. That resonate and shake you. Are you in touch with your self?
These are all questions I have asked myself, things I have measured inside of my self and answered for the very first time. After I identified my cycles, or my personal story, and both subjectively and objectively observed where I have been and where I am now, I knew the best way I could move forward was by finding my authentic self. I had to ask the hard questions and face the truth of my answers. This process has been the focus of the last week. I immersed myself in yoga, went to acupuncture, read books, sat and thought, slept, talked to 6 people who are wise, listened to them and measured all of my findings against the core of my self. I don't know how to explain this in words, and an attempt will likely muddle it all up with confusion, but I have a strong compass inside of me. It feels truth, authenticity, what is real. I think we all have one and the more we listen to it the stronger its signal. It is easy to muffle its signal, easy to step off course and not realize it until you are way off and feel confused and lost. I wandered off course many times in my life and made a great effort to get back on track, back in my river.
Funny, I always thought of myself as a person in a canoe on a river, flowing with the current. There would occasionally be forks in my river, and I would have to look to my compass to decide which way to go. If I chose the way I was meant to, things would just fall into place, little effort would be required of me. Strange coincidences occurred that were too bizarre to be considered chance. People sometimes canoed beside me for a time, we would learn and nurture each other and then they would go off on their own path. And I knew when I was off course. Figuring out I was off course could be a bit tricky though. Especially when you are not sure of what you value. At one point I needed and thought I valued recognition and validation. I wanted pats on the back, kudos, ego massage, money, to feel like I was indispensable, the only one that could do my job as good as I can, The ONE for the job. It took a lot for me to see that what I was really needing was self acceptance, not the acceptance of others. No matter how good it felt to hear that I was a genius at my job, deep down I felt like a fraud. There was never enough kudos. Nothing could convince me of my worth except for finding my worth inside of myself. Eventually the charms and external validation offered by that river fork felt shallow and empty and I knew I had to get back to my true river. I paddled and worked and humbled myself, admitted, my fault, came to terms with my demons, communicated my fears, and made my way back. Back to my true river. My yoga instructor calls the true river GRACE.
I was patient. I learned to not judge myself since it was a lesson I had to learn. I forgave myself. I was forgiven. I tucked that river fork experience in my pocket and it helped me to see and detect tests that have come before me, temptations that urged me to enjoy those external validation pleasures, urged me off my path. I resist. . . and when I don't I begin to feel empty again, begin to measure myself by others. . . and I abhor that feeling. Abhorrence brings me back. I want to feel GOOD. . . Inside. . . and the things that make me feel really truly good and happy are my core values. The values my compass points to.