Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.
— Carl Jung
Core values are the things in our lives that we live from that are nonnegotiable. They are the things we know in our hearts and live passionately, both in our personal and business lives. These values are our strength, and they will get us through the darkest valleys we will face and lift us up our brightest mountains.
Our core values are at the heart of who we are, and they need to resonate with our heart’s energy. If they don’t, they are not our values but belong to someone else.
For example, one of my core values is to live from love. Another is to create my life’s work to help others. A third, and very important, value is that I believe in telling the truth — especially when not doing so goes against my beliefs. It literally hurts when I stuff down my sadness in order to make others feel more comfortable.
As a young person, these core values were limited. Through the church and my disciplined upbringing, one person was left out of my core value of love — me. I learned from my church and my father’s family that love was giving and supporting blindly, following the teachings of my church, my society, my school, and my parents. There was no room for loving dissension or addressing the doubts that I felt in my heart and gut through this particular lens of love.
When One of Your Core Values Is Put to the Test
As the upheavals of the 1960s began, I was in agonizing disagreement with the lack of progress on civil rights in the United States. Where did my devotion to love begin and end, particularly since I was an ardent believer in the words of Jesus about loving everyone? Where did my devotion to helping others begin and end under that same belief system? I felt certain that love was meant to be all-inclusive as Jesus taught, not limited as my family, church, and society taught.
In the 1970s, a private club near where I lived had an unwritten racial rule that people of color were only welcome as servers, kitchen help, or maids. The athletic staff of a university was invited to participate in a golf tournament there, which included a luncheon in the club. Imagine the consternation when one of the coaches turned out to be black. The club found a solution. Hot dogs and such were served on the course at the ninth hole, relieving everyone of the issue.
Sticking to Your Core Values
Later, I was to attend a party at that same club, hosted by a public professional organization. Given the situation I learned about, I felt it was wrong for that organization to have its meeting/party at this club. I decided to take a stand and not attend. Now that I was aware of the values of the club, going there felt like giving my approval.
My decision left my husband in an uncomfortable situation. I knew this would create bad feelings among those who had breathed a sigh of relief that a confrontation had been averted during the golf tournament. I knew that my partner would find my standing on principle inconvenient and even embarrassing.
Within the scope of love, causing pain to my partner created pain in me. Yet each time I considered flying under the radar and not expressing how I felt, my heart contracted and my stomach hurt. My husband’s feelings were important, but my core was more important — to me. I didn’t go on the radio or to the newspapers to expose the club, but if someone asked why I didn’t attend the party, I told them the truth.
Core Values Are Not Negotiable
Since our core values are nonnegotiable, our body/heart will react anytime we are tested. If we do something that is against a core value, it will show itself to us. Then we have the choice to pay attention or ignore it.
The most difficult part of being true to any core value is that it asks us to tell our truth, and we cannot deny it without paying a spiritual price. It is never a good thing to override a core value to save someone else from discomfort. They will have to address why they feel what they feel, based on their own core values.
Identifying Who Your Core Values Came From
It’s not possible to bypass a core value without feeling it in the body. So I’m going to ask you to visit a few old power figures just to see what hold those ideas have in your life today. The great thing is, some of them will be really good models. And for those who may not be, that can be changed.
Identify the person/people/organizations your core values came from and realize that they are human and so are you, but you are a human who is beginning to know who you are.
Your core values can change over time, or move around in order of importance. That’s natural as we grow into our soul natures. Whenever we have a decision to make, running it by our core values to see how it fits is a great way to get feedback from our heart and body.
Examples of Words That Core Values Are Built Around
If naming is a problem, here are some examples of words core values are built around:
Stating the words alone works for some. Stating them in an active way works best for others. There is no right or wrong way. Here are a couple of examples.
+ I stand firm in my integrity no matter the challenge.
+ I always place truth above convenience.
+ Family will always hold a central place in my life.
+ I will express gratitude in every situation.
Take a deep breath, complete the exercise, and take some time before you come back to this work.
Uncovering Your Core Values
1. Have your journal and a pen at hand. Close your eyes and go to your heart. Breathe in and out slowly, feeling peace and calm come over your entire body.
2. Ask your guides and allies to form a ring of protection around you and to help you see the answers to the questions you will ask. When you feel comfortable and protected, open your eyes and answer the following questions:
* What are your top five core values? (These will be ways you desire to live your life that are filled with passion, are unquestionable, and cannot be compromised.) Write them in your journal.
* To be sure that these are truly your core values, say each value out loud and see how it resonates in your body. You can tell if there is no passion when you write or say the value out loud.
* If you did have a value or two fall flat, is it possible you’re just saying what others think you should say? Might the value be from old beliefs and need to be updated? Are you ready to let go of those which no longer serve you? Adjust your core value list as necessary.
* How do you express each of these values in your daily life?
* What can you do to make your core values more energetically alive in your life?
You will want to revisit this list often in the next month or so, refining it as you go.
Focusing on the Present: The Emerging You
It is truly essential that this become a part of your healing, thus a part of your being. Those power figures of your childhood or in your schools, or in your life as a partner, parent, or organization, have had their say. You are now able to look through your energetic body, your intellect, and especially your heart and know what parts of the old system are no longer useful to the you that is emerging.
We are not trying to prove these people or experiences are wrong; rather, we want to accept that we have been given the gifts of love, perception, and guidance that cannot be overcome by someone else’s opinion or dogma.
Our challenge is to leave the past and focus on the present. Though we’ll revisit the past often with the help of the work we are doing, those visits will become less and less painful and more mindful.
Claiming Your Own Knowingness
We can also visit past power figures in our protected meditations and thank them for whatever tools they gave us that we are keeping, and then move on and away from others that are no longer useful. The focus is moving from the authority and orders of other people and institutions into the knowingness supplied by our hearts, minds, and energies. Meditating on our core values and the certainties provided through these values and our own inner guidance is simple, free, and always at our fingertips.
Some people lose their way for years trying to get a dogma. I am clear that I have no desire to be anyone’s guru — my path on this earth is to help people find their own direction in life through their heart and soul. My way is not necessarily your way, and yet there are some clear and grounded similarities on the path.
Structure and rules comfort the mind and we give over to what we see as a greater authority. The solution is that your soul already knows who and what you are spiritually and emotionally. Going there, going through the heart and through the messiness of love and loss, is the gift we’ve been given as humans.
What I am showing you is a way to yourself — to your own unfailing guidance — that I learned when I turned off the noise of earlier people or institutions to whom I had given my own power.
A Journey with Purpose and Value
Whatever you choose to call your origins — God, the Universe, your Higher Power — you are now certain that you came here with the ability to know what is right, just, and loving for you. Go frequently to your core values and your all-knowing guidance, and your journey will have purpose and value.
You are not trading one dogma for another — my belief is in you and your heart’s intelligence. You are not saying you are better — you are saying you are able. With faith in your core values and inner guidance, you will continue to create your life in the image of the gifts you’ve found within.
©2013 by Therèse Amrhein Tappouni. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Hierophant Publishing. www.hierophantpublishing.com
The Gifts of Grief: Finding Light in the Darkness of Loss
by Therèse Tappouni.
About the Author
Therèse Tappouni is a Certified Clinical and Medical Hypnotherapist, and a licensed HeartMath® provider. Along with her partner, Professor Lance Ware, she is the co-founder of the Isis Institute (www.isisinstitute.org). She is the author of five books, a creator of CD meditations, workshop director, and a woman who leads other women on the path of their purpose and passion. Therèse has co-authored a book with her daughters which is for young children, parents and teachers. "Me and Green" is a book about sustainability for the youngest among us and it has won several awards. Therèse's work finds a home with anyone on the spiritual path that leads to an intentional life.