Take some time to think about it. Look at the list at the end of this post if you need inspiration.
Which of these values are most important to you?
In what ways are you living according to them?
In what ways are your thoughts, feelings, or actions not in alignment with them?
Being a stay-at-home mom was tremendously difficult for me, a veritable shit show, if you will. While I loved my family, I struggled to find within my role the fulfillment, autonomy, adventure, authenticity, connection, and significance I value. The result was a burnt out, unhappy, and sometimes angry version of me.
Although I was not honoring these values, we are always honoring some values.
Values can be conscious or fear-based.
Conscious values, like those I was desperate to live by as a SAHM, encourage actions about which you are passionate or that you find pleasurable, and living in accordance with them equips you to immerse yourself in the present moment. (Think of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s state of “flow” or Eckhart Tolle’s the Now.)
Fear-based values promote actions that you feel obligated to do or that you must do to avoid a real or perceived consequence. It is these values, the “have to’s,” that I lived by. Altruism. Commitment. Duty. Self-reliance. Hard work. All were based around the fear of not being a good mom, being seen as lazy or weak, not being good enough, and being left by my husband.
Living in alignment with my fear-based values and failing to honor my conscious ones opened me up to dissatisfaction, disappointment, sadness, stress, bitterness, resentment, worry, anger, and rage.
As you learned in Part I, these are all methods by which our minds time travel.
We cannot, then, live with presence when our relationship with our values is out of whack.
What fear-based values are you honoring in place of conscious ones?
What choices can you make that would allow you to live in integrity with your conscious values?
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