Values that Lead to Inner Peace and Happiness
Like most people, you probably seek to find inner peace and happiness in life. Problem is, there are so many roads that might lead to one discovering this. In this illustration below, we start you off with a question to get you started.
What Value Do You Place in Unhealthy Relationships?
What if I told you that everything you do, whether it brings you enjoyment or not, holds some value in your life? That dreaded drive to work in traffic…value. That dysfunctional relationship…value. An unfulfilling career…value. It all has value, it’s just hard to find when it’s something that causes you discomfort.
Too often we associate “value” as something related to people, situations, or things that bring us pleasure. However, even unpleasant circumstances hold a value in your life. Simply put, if they didn’t, they wouldn’t stick around or you would eliminate them from your life.
Value, whether you view it as positive or negative in context, always exits. It’s valuable to lose, because you learn to work harder to win. It’s valuable to feel uncomfortable because it challenges places within you that are normally emotionally dormant. It’s not that there’s value in the lesson (losing, discomfort) the inherent value is that you are compelled to continue doing something because it’s holds some benefit in your life.
A common example of this theory can be used in relationships. Commonly couples will experience some struggle at some point in their relationship. However some relationships, even from the start, are abusive or dysfunctional. At some point in the course of engaging in this relationship one or both must ask themselves WHY they continue to stay; why tolerate an abusive relationship. And therein lays the question of the value it holds in your life. Here’s how…if you think yourself unworthy to be in an unhealthy relationship, you allow a dysfunctional relationship to remain in your life because it holds value; it supports your need to feel unworthy to be loved in a healthy way. In this example, the value doesn’t lie in the day-to-day dysfunction, it’s the overarching belief that you are only worthy of love that is dysfunctional. Keeping the dysfunction around is valuable to support the beliefs you have about yourself.
By recognizing that every single dynamic in your life holds a value you are able to uncover the greater cause of any unhappiness you feel. By taking responsibility for all that holds value in your life you begin to make decisions aligned with a value-driven belief system. If you value connection with others, you begin to cultivate intimate relationships with people. If you value achievement you seek opportunities to be challenged and overcome.
If you want to know what you value take inventory of what’s around you and how it makes you feel. Look at your daily activities, your job, friendships, relationships, free time. If situations or relationships cause you stress, you may value feeling overwhelmed. You likely wonder…”who would value stress?!” Well, just ask the people who are under a tremendous amount of stress and ask them why they allow it. Whatever the answer, it holds a value, positive or negative. It supports positive or negative feelings, emotions, and beliefs within their life.
Values aren’t hard to identify, they are hard to change. I say hard because most people find change hard. And unless everything in your life holds a positive value, change will be necessary. The next time you say “yes” when you really want to say “no”, or the next time you engage in harmful behavior or thoughts, ask yourself if the value outweighs the compromise of worth. Your answer will be immediate, and with that moment of honest reflection will spare you a lifetime of regret.