Comparing Values: A Slippery Slope
“The law of our life reacts to our spiritual or material concepts, and builds and re-builds according to our beliefs and faith.”
~ Ernest Holmes (The Science of Mind)
Life is made up of beliefs: your beliefs, my beliefs and ‘their’ beliefs. Beliefs are the stories we tell ourselves about the world around us. Beliefs are the threads that hold our ideas about our human experience together in the way that we see it. And, everyone sees life differently. Go ahead and ask your sibling about your shared childhood. You will agree on some points, while your ideas may vastly differ on others… even though you were both equally there for your shared experiences! Yes, you were… and… we all view the world we experience through the filter of our own personal beliefs. Some beliefs we share; others we don’t.
If we could honour each ‘thread’, we would be miles ahead in living a fulfilled life, because we would lose the need to argue for the superiority of our own perspective. This seems hard to do, however. All too often, we are upset with those around us, expecting them to show up the way we think they should. We tend to want others to perfectly align with our viewpoints on all topics, and, chances are, we are disappointed when they don’t.
The thing is, all beliefs are first rooted in a set of values, and these play out differently across the world. Americans may have different values than Canadians, for instance. We can potentially feel the differences when we cross the border. Country to country, the same experience holds true. And then, within any given country there are differences that exist, too… province to province, state to state, rural to urban, ideas about skin colour, practices of faith traditions, etc. If we were to break down life into the smallest expressions we have, we would see an infinite combination of individualized perceptions on values and beliefs, and notions about which of those are ‘right’ and which are ‘wrong’. HOWEVER, in an Infinite Reality of Oneness, Life just Is… there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. There are only different ways of interpreting Life.
I hold optimism as one of my top values. Above all else, I scrutinize all I encounter in order to discern ‘the good’ in the world around me. I think this is so important, to the point where it can feel so challenging to me to hang out with someone who doesn’t share this as a top value. You know the scene: the glass-half-full person hanging out with the glass-half-empty one. Both are ‘right’. They are just looking at life through a different lens. (And I gotta tell you, my optimism can get me into trouble when it comes to relationships. Just saying…).
Picture a merchandise store that hires staff for minimum wage. These staff hold shared common values regarding community and the environment. These values suit the type of products sold at the store and the typical personalities of the clientele who generally shop at this location. For some reason, however, the staff often clash with the owner, with nobody really understanding why the owner appears to be ‘such a… (fill in the blank)”.
What if the ‘problem’ is that the owner holds dearest the values of wealth and achievement, which is a very different focus from the values of the staff? Doesn’t it then become more apparent why a clash is potentially inevitable? And, even with that… nobody is wrong and nobody needs to change. Actually, both sets of values are needed for the store to be a success. What is needed, is for everyone to learn how to accept each other, even in their differences.
This kind of understanding is important. We want to work in environments that support our key values, but if we don’t know what they are, we will endure a lot of frustration, trial and error until we figure it out.
Then, once we know what our values are, we will want to look at our beliefs. Do they match our values? Do our beliefs support our desired life experience? Once our own self-acceptance and awareness is secure, it becomes an easy task to accept others equally.
Master metaphysician, Ernest Holmes, wrote about belief in his book, The Science of Mind. (In fact, it is mentioned 211 times). At one point he wrote (in all caps), “WE ARE BOUND BY NOTHING EXCEPT BELIEF.”
Our beliefs are not Spiritual Truths. They may feel true (man-o-man, do they feel true)… but they are not. Not one belief, no matter how big or how small, is a Principle of Life that holds strong over time. The more people gather around a belief, they may make it appear to be true … but it isn’t. In a world of infinite potential, when we are arguing for our beliefs and values, we are arguing for our limitation… we are declaring our belief in separation, in ‘right' and ‘wrong’, and that there is a limited universe for us to exist in, with a very scary world on the other side. This is not ONENESS.
In the Field of Infinite Possibilities, all is true and right. Every value and belief wraps itself around some attribute of Life. These attributes are the “Is-ness” of Life and they never change. Our experiences are either demonstrating the presence of these attributes or the absence of them. Beauty, Peace, Love, Light, Power, Joy, Life are constants, and our life is a reflection, or a ‘demonstration’ of these creative principles. A darkened room isn’t ‘wrong’, it is only out-picturing the absence of light.
Commitment Ten, from the book, 15 Commitments for Conscious Leadership, states: “I commit to seeing that the opposite of my story is as true as, or truer, than my original story. I recognize that I interpret the world around me, and give my stories meaning.”
Working from this principle, if we can honour each other and all our differences, as I said earlier, we will be miles ahead in living fulfilled lives. We will no longer let negative judgements about others and their actions take up so much real estate in our minds, thus leaving more space for creative endeavours, and the building of the Good lives we truly desire for ourselves and those around us. I don’t need you to change. I value all the colours each of us bring to this warp and weft of human existence. Dance on!
~ Go to https://brenebrown.com/resources/living-into-our-values/ and do a deep dive into the exploration of your top values. Brené Brown is an excellent resource on the subject.
~ Look at your personal life and your work life. Do your values align in both settings? (If not, Simon Sinek says you are lying in one of them).
~ What would your life be like if you were living 100% true to yourself? I would love to hear your thoughts. ~ If you are ready to let go of limiting ideas for yourself, I invite you to join us at one of our classes. Follow this link for more info