“The Chesire Cat: Where are you going?
Alice: Which way should I go?
Chesire Cat: That depends on where you’re going.
Alice: I don’t know.
Chesire Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Has anyone ever asked what’s most important to you? If so, have you been able to answer that question without a moment to think? The things that are most important to us are called core values. They shape every aspect of our lives.
When I sat down to write a list of everything that was important to me I had to google lists of core values. The stark reality hit that I hadn’t the slightest idea as to what was truly important to me. Other than my children and family, I couldn’t identify things that mattered, off the top of my head. This meant I had been traveling through life blindfolded. It was at that point I decided to put my core values front and center. In doing so, I have learned that there are 3 incredibly important reasons to define your core values.
God has a plan for every single one of us. We are individually set apart. Each one of our gifts are unique to who we are meant to be. These gifts come with a set of values… core values. Our core values offer a solid foundation to build our reputation. They help keep our actions and decisions consistent with who we are and what we want out of life. This consistency is called integrity.
Integrity is the place where our character and behavior align with our core values. When we are coming from a place of integrity, the world around us will respond in a positive manner. The only sure way for that to happen is to clearly define our core values. We must know, without a doubt, what is most important to us before we act.
Abraham is who I turn to when in need of an example of integrity. I believe one of Abraham’s core values would have been trust. I say this because he, mostly, acted in alignment with that core value. His trust in God’s promises inspired him to relocate his entire family and willingness to sacrifice his only son. Abraham stumbled and made mistakes, as we all do, but it was his willingness to act in accordance with God’s promises that set him apart.
Have you ever wished that life came with a map? Well, it somewhat does. Our core values are there to serve as a personalized life compass. When we are faced with decisions, as Alice was above, we don’t have to look far for the answer. Keeping clearly defined core values is most important in the decision making process. They are there to weigh the most desireable result of our decisions.
God gives us the gift of free will. I, now, view my list of core values as God’s gift to help guide me closer to His plan. I choose to use the gift of free will to freely choose what God intends for my life.
When acting against our core values, we will notice conflict in the world around us. Conflict is a warning sign that something is not in alignment with who we are.
One area of my life where I used to notice the most conflict was in my personal and professional relationships. I had always felt that others had more control over my life than I did. I was right. Because of unfortunate circumstances in my childhood, as an adult, I gave others that control. So, I didn’t know how to use my voice, compassionately, to ask for what I needed. Instead, I bottled everything up until I exploded. This behavior created enormous conflict. It was counterproductive and not, at all, in alignment with who I truly was.
Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes….
Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes….
A few years back, my voice began to shake when I spoke. I noticed it more when I was reminded of certain memories or when I’d feel inferior and intimidated. It, still, happens occasionally and is quite embarrassing.
When I began to create my list of core values, I realized that, since I had gone so long feeling like I didn’t have a voice, I really valued feeling heard. However, I knew that if I wanted to he heard, I needed to learn how to speak, even if my voice shakes. This has taken some practice, but learning how to compassionately speak my needs, I am seeing less conflict in the relationships in my life. Defining our core values gives us the courage to act in alignment with them. In doing so, we will notice less conflict around us.
Our core values are the drivers of our lives. When we are living in alignment with our core values, we can experience inner peace in every situation. When not in alignment, our lives feel unpredictable and out of control. God gives us one life to live. He gives us the free will to choose a life of integrity, good choices, and peace. Defined core values is at the center of it all!
Have you taken the time to identify your core values? How do you think your life could change if you took the time to do this? I would love to hear your thoughts on the concept!
Subscribe, like, and share!
Sweet child, live free.