Do your values have boundaries?
Let’s talk values for a minute. These are the qualities and characteristics that we think are more important than other things. They have a higher priority for us.
Living our values is wonderful, as long as we don’t cross into judgment. Let’s say someone values ambition. If so, ambition might drive a lot of their actions. It only becomes a problem if they see other people who are not ambitious and judge them, as lazy perhaps. It can also present a problem when they judge themselves harshly in their less-than-ambitious moments.
It could be that the root of their value is fear-based. Maybe the value of ambition is tied up with the need for power, influence, or accomplishment in order to feel worthy. It could also be that they just don’t see that judgment line and how easy it is to cross it.
It could also be both. I’m certainly guilty of that. I’ve had plenty of fear-based values that have created right/wrong thinking for me. I also have love-based values and can be very tempted to judge myself and others against those.
I grew up in a religion which, like all religions, has its own set of values. But the word “judgment” was thrown around a lot. And I came to see them as inseparable. There was also morality (which is basically right and wrong as dictated by a certain authority) and then you’ve got your sins. I sinned all the time. The whole thing was confusing to me as a kid, because Jesus seemed like such an accepting guy. I felt like the church just didn’t get Him.
But I was just a child. I didn’t have the ability to discern between values and judgment. From my immature perspective, the judgment in all of the teachings was too heavy for the love to penetrate it. At least I can now see the love in the teachings, the love in the community, and the love in the people within the religion.
Let’s separate our values from judgment.
Values are wonderful things when we use them as guides to live a more loving life, but there are two very important things to consider. First, we want our values to be love-based and not a response to a fear we have. Second, we need to be super careful to avoid the judgment that can so easily and invisibly become tangled up with values.
I know I’ve said this a hundred times, but I’ll say it again. Judgment is a major obstacle to love. When we are judging something as wrong or bad, we are finding someone or ourselves lacking. It is a rejection. And here’s the deal. We might love someone in our heart. But when we judge them, they can feel the rejection, or love that is being withheld. That is a tough pill to swallow, but it is true. Think about the times YOU felt judged.
And we all do it. It’s in our human nature and comes hand-in-hand with our ego and our thinking mind. But we can still make a commitment to work on it. Especially when it comes to our values.
So, ask yourself this.
What are your top five values? Are any of them fear-based? If you find they are, maybe do some gentle examining of that (In fact, join us for the next 21-Day Heart Cleanse if you want to dive into those fears a little deeper within a supportive community.)
If you’ve got all love-based values, that is awesome. Our world needs a lot more people like you. Here is the question I would encourage you to ask yourself. Do you judge other people or yourself as bad/wrong when not aligned with your value? And the follow-up question is… how can you live your value without judgment of others or yourself?
It’s all about the love, people. The quest I’m on that I would invite you to join is to embrace our unique-ness and hold the things we care about in esteem without using our values as a measure of right and wrong. I plan to be working on that for a very long time. Because, human.
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