What do you value? What brings meaning into your life that is not contingent on external rewards or punishment?
What we value is the greatest choice we have in our life. It is the deepest expression of our freedom as human beings to set in motion a life dedicated to our chosen purpose. It is what Andy meant when he said to Red: “Get busy living, or get busy dying”. We either choose or things get chosen for us. When we choose, we plant our feet on the ground and center our consciousness around the things we value most deeply.
That centering is important. The alternative is that we feel strewn about by thoughts and feelings that toss us around like a listless ship in rough seas. No values anchor and we get set adrift in a storm that feels beyond our self-directed purpose.
Our thoughts and feelings can conspire against us to keep us floundering when we have no center point: “You’re not good enough.” “That always happens to me.” “So and so always gets the best from life.” Without a values axis, it’s easy for us to get wrapped up in constant mental and emotional chatter. We become what we think, instead of what we value. We are caught in the trappings of thoughts and feelings that either reward – these are good thoughts – or punish – these are bad thoughts. The mind can be this endless wash, rinse, repeat cycle if we allow ourselves to get caught up in this endless tug of war with ourselves.
When we ground ourselves in what we value, we can reorient to the content of our thoughts and feelings. That re-orientation involves becoming unhooked to the content of thoughts and feelings – they are not good or bad – and staying centered on what we value – they are either helping us stay aligned with our values or they are unhelpful.
Centering on what we value has a similar purpose to a mantra or the breath in mindfulness-based practice. It’s the light that helps us find our way home – unflinching, unwavering. That is the freedom that rises above the noise when we live life from a place of purpose.
Join us in our mental wellness community on Huddol and explore ways of defining what you value most in life.