March 10    

Today's quotation:

It's difficult to develop a strong sense of self, to have a very secure self-image when the parameters offered by a value system are lacking.  Our values define who we are.  They offer us direction when making choices.  They quietly demand that we behave responsibly.  Living in concert with our values brings peace to our souls.

Karen Casey

Today's Meditation:

The values that I've developed and adopted over the years have been one of the most important parts of my life, mostly because they give me a sense of consistency and stability; as long as I follow the guidelines that those values provide me with, I'm able to avoid many of the dilemmas and stressful situations that make life so stressful for others.  Adopting and developing values is fine, but the important thing is to stay true to them after we've claimed them as our own.

Karen says it well when she says that they "offer us direction when making choices."  Some of my decisions are so ridiculously easy that I don't even have to think of them because I'm clear about what my values are.  My values tell me that I need to live ethically and that I need to treat others with love and compassion; they tell me that I need to give my all to the work I choose to do and that I need to be honest and straightforward in my dealings with others.

They aren't a crutch for me, and they aren't an excuse for not doing something that I simply don't want to do.  When I follow their guidelines, life is much easier for me, and the aftermath of decisions is much clearer and simpler--I know why I did what I did, and I can be comfortable with that.  The trick, of course, is choosing values that are authentic and that will affect others in positive, loving, and compassionate ways.  I don't want to adopt values that will hurt others when I follow them, or that are wishy-washy and pedestrian.  I want my values to make a statement about my life and about what I want to contribute to this world.

If I want peace in my spirit, and if I want to live with honor, dignity, and courage, then I have what I need to help me to do so in my values.  What those values are is up to me, and whether I follow them faithfully is up to me, too.  I know in my heart and spirit, though, that following them can help me to become a person who contributes in very positive ways to the world I live in and the people I live with.

Questions to consider:

What are your most important values?  Do you follow their directions faithfully?

What would a life without values be like?  Could you live that way?

How might we go about deciding which values are true to us?

For further thought:

Values are principles and ideas that bring meaning to the seemingly mundane experience of life. A meaningful life that ultimately brings happiness and pride requires you to respond to temptations as well as challenges with honor, dignity, and courage.

Laura Schlesinger

more on values



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