As we strive to determine our values, it is important for us to learn how to be honest with ourselves. Our knee-jerk reaction to the topic of values thrusts us to spout out the answers we think we should have, like children in school who have learned how to regurgitate the correct answers on command.
It’s easy to say we value truth or peace or love. But do we? Are these truly our values or are they the masks our true longings hide behind?
One way to determine if your values are truly valuable to you is to test them against truth. We masquerade false harmony as a kind of peace. It is far from it. It’s easy for us to pretend as if quiet and peace are synonymous, but we know deep down they are not.
If we truly value peace, we understand that peace is a mixture of harmony and truth. It is a unity based on reality. When we suspend the facts of reality, the truth of our feelings or rightness itself, it is passivity, not peace, we promote.
For many, this indicates that peace is not really a value. A nagging disruption to unity, whether it is ignored or placated, is an assault on truth.
Your Deepest Desire
The question that has to be answered is whether or not peace (or truth, or love, or whatever we are claiming) is actually the value to which we ascribe or if there is something else we are pursuing.
If we do so, we will discover one of two things as a result.
First, we will discover that something else matters more than truth. We like when others tell us the truth, but when are we willing to look past it? The most common answer is when the falsity makes us look good in the eyes of others. Flattery is a value we often desire more than truth itself. We will lie to others, even subconsciously to ourselves, if the end result is our power, our prestige, our like-ability elevated.
The second discovery is the very opposite: that we actually value truth but are afraid of the consequences of pursuing it. It is vital for us to be honest about whether this is the case. Are we so in love with our stated values that we will sacrifice superficial gain to realize them? Things like fear and doubt and the pressure of circumstances can shift us into behavior not in alignment with our values.
We sometimes mimic what is being done all around us because it is easier, safer. The question is whether we do so in a shift away from our core values or if safety and ease, or something similar, is the true value.
Either way, we have discovered why we do the things we do. Our stated and realized values may not align. We may want to be better. There is a long road ahead, but it is possible to adopt new values. What we need is to chase truth, including honesty about our current reality, with reckless abandonment.
In doing so, we provide a path for living in abundance, fulfillment, and accordance with the unique vision for our lives.