Our lives are filled with joy, pain, victories, and even defeats. We all live lives with all the elements of a best-seller or box office hit and at any given moment would be classified as an action, thriller, drama, horror and most times comedy. In the midst of all of this excitement, I must ask the question, “What direction are you going?”
Our lives are made up of different storylines, or experiences, that guide our decisions and views. The thing that’s interesting about these storylines is that, most times, they have more power than they’re really worth. A storyline, simply put, is a snapshot of a moment in time that we hold on to as a basis for why we act and react the way we do. Here’s an example… Your first love betrayed you and now there’s an expectation of betrayal from every relationship that follows. Or, you secured a job, worked hard at it and became irreplaceable but when it came time for promotion, you were passed over for a new person with no experience. So, the expectation is that no matter how hard you work, you’ll be overlooked and unappreciated.
Storylines are crazy because we tend to hold on to the negatives more than the positives. Quick question… Do you remember your favorite birthday growing up? What made it your favorite? Do you remember the day after? What about the day before? My favorite birthday was the “Chocolate Birthday” where I requested and received EVERYTHING chocolate from the cake to the ice cream to the snacks… I don’t remember the exact age that I was nor do I remember what happened the day before. But, I do remember being sick the day after. Now, does having a chocolate filled birthday make me Willy Wonka? No, but that’s how we treat life and our storylines.
So, how do we get away from this unhealthy cycle? Well, we move towards our own personal values instead of avoiding pain. Most of the time, we make decisions based on our pain, or discomfort, levels. We are running from a storyline that seems to haunt us and our mind is made-up to avoid repeating history. But, running from the perceived pain IS repeating history because every time that we perceive that situation arising we’ll keep running. BUT, when we move towards our values then we are moving in the correct way.
Then, what are my values? My friend, only YOU can answer that. The difficult part about answering the value question is history and expectation. Many of the concepts that we hold to were passed down on our parents, our social circles and even our friend-/relationships. But, where is your heart? What does your heart tell you? If your heart beats to the rhythm of relationships then, why do you keep pushing them away? If your heart speaks baseball then, why are you playing monopoly? The reason that many of us live unfulfilled lives is because we aren’t moving towards our values but rather moving in someone else’s.
When it comes to YOUR values, they are perfect. They are perfect because they are yours and yours alone. You can’t jack up what was ingrained in you. It’s like this… If someone told you to go West, would you ever actually get West? The answer is No. You may go in that direction but you can never actually reach it because West isn’t a destination, it’s a heading.
I know that today’s letter is a lot deeper than normal but I pray that as we move through our lives, that we are conscious of our heading. Are we moving away from perceived discomfort and pain OR, are we headed in the direction of our values?
I love you ALL!!!