Brilliant As You Are

 In Weekly Forum Discussion

As I strive to better understand my values – in fact to sort out which ones are truly at the core of who I am – I’ve started to wonder: are these my actual values or ideals?

I am looking through a list of words. Some of them are similar to others, or if I group a few together they are a value concept. I’m not sure which word to pick that will appropriately sum up that value. For now, I group them together as one value on a top five and top 10 list. I like a lot of these words, they point to values I want to find are at the core of my being, I start to think – what if this isn’t my value, what does that say about me. As if leaving out beauty and kindness means I don’t appreciate or value it at all. On another thought tangent, I realize that I am looking for the strongest values, the core ones that stand alone without assistance from other values.

A few of these values inform how I manage my world and my life: efficiency and (value group) organization/strategy/preparedness. When I plan to do errands I am often motivated to do them in a particular order that makes it an efficient way of getting things done; no back-tracking or returning to the same area of town twice. Efficiency is injected into my morning; doing things in a particular way to get out of the house as succinctly as possible. Efficiency goes hand in hand with organization. I plan out many things in advance (strategy), I make sure to look at the day ahead and take what I might need with me at the start. I don’t like to be unprepared (preparedness), to not have all the tools I need for any given moment. It means I have a lot of items in my bag that are “just in case”: tissue, ibuprofen, hand sanitizer, nail file, business cards, and sunglasses. I might not use these all in a day, but I feel very anxious when I think of leaving them at home (for brief periods, yes, but not for a whole day).

Are core individual values also those I value in others? Certainly being organized is something I admire, but it’s not a necessity in those around me. But too much disorganization will eventually lead to problems I suspect (and disorganized workplaces are not for me, or houses for that matter), and likely, I have already filtered those around me into at least a moderately organized group. When I impose my efficiency or organizational rules on others I am probably sometimes seen as a control freak (depending on who is watching), but for me it’s just the logical way to get things done.

What if I value something in someone else or in others generally that I don’t necessarily have occurring in my own life? Is it value? This is the values versus ideals. Figuring out who I am versus who I want to be; questioning if who I think I want to be is actually my own desire to be a better person or the way I  think  I should be in this society. It causes disappointment and guilt inside. This is acceptance versus ideals. Perhaps I am not that ideal value, not that ideal person; however I’ve come to the conclusion. I want to accept who I am, love who I am, and figure out which things I actually want to be better at (more patient or kind) as part of normal human growth. Values are neutral, not bad or good. I’m organized, it’s just the way I am. Should I change it because being relaxed is how others want to be or are in a given moment? Or do I just get to say – I’m organized, take it or leave it, it’s a value? I want to be unencumbered by the people pleasing, the mutable options to be something other than what I am. Instead, I want the acceptance so I can get on with being around people that have no issue with that value or admire rather than taunt it. I want the acceptance so having to think about it so much can cease.

Values should be easy I think. It should be obvious. But for me, it’s not the case. I had a eureka moment when I realized that efficiency and organization could be considered values at all. Now I find myself wading through the words trying to sort out what is core, what is real, what is me.

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