Why Your Values Ran for Cover (and how to start living by them again)

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“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” – Mahatma Gandhi

I have always prided myself on being independent, and living with integrity and honesty.  Or so I thought.

After my first divorce, I was terrified to go it alone with two kids.  I was making all the plans I needed to in order to do it, but I was scared shitless.  I was absolutely, 100% giving off a vibe of neediness and a desire for someone to rescue me.

Now I’m not judging myself for that.  And I certainly wouldn’t judge anyone else for that.  

In hindsight, though, I can see how not checking in with myself and being honest about the fears I had, so I could honor them and redirect them, wreaked havoc in my life.  I don’t want you to have to go through that.

So after my first divorce, I had a need to feel cared for.  It was such a deep-seated need and belief, I allowed my values of honesty and integrity to be compromised.  

I wasn’t being honest to myself on many levels and I was internally angry most of the time.  I was living out of tune with my true self and my core values so I felt the strain.  I also felt suffocated and anxiety was at a peak (hello, four day long panic attack!).

What values are.

Values are the principles or standards by which we live our lives.  If we’re living in congruence with who we really are, they are what guide our behavior.  Our values show up in our action or inaction, depending on the situation.  

If you have been forced to act in a way that doesn’t align with your core values, for example, being in a toxic or abusive relationship, you will feel the dissonance.  

You will feel the anxiety, the frustration, the suffocation of not being able to act in line with your core self – your values.

And pretty soon, you won’t be living by your true core values anymore.  

Why your values ran for cover.

Sometimes, we force ourselves into these positions.  Like when we think we have to please someone else, when we think we aren’t worthy of standing our ground, or when we think someone else knows more about how we should be living than we do (we don’t trust ourselves).

And if we’re in a toxic relationship where we get punished for living by our values, it’s safer for us to let them retreat.

Our most important need, whatever that is, is somehow being nurtured by the toxic person or in the toxic relationship.  Otherwise, the relationship wouldn’t be able to stand given how we shove our values to the side.

But you can nurture that need all on your own, and much better than that relationship ever could.

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How to start living by your values again.

Re-assess your core values.

What are they?  Name them.

Where are you living your values?  List all parts of your life in which they are present.

Where is your behavior not in line with your values?  Make a list.

Don’t feel guilty about this.  Ever.  We all do the best we can at the time — we all make the best decisions and choices we can.  Survival is a huge motivator, especially when you’re entrenched in a toxic or abusive relationship.

Now, how can you start to, baby step by baby step if you must, live your values in those areas of your life?  MAKE A LIST.

Resolve to take one small action per day to reinstate your value-led behavior.
With love and light,

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Your turn!  I want to hear from you.  Leave a comment and let me know when your values ran for cover and what you did about it.

Know someone who needs to realign with their values? Please share this if you are so inspired.

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