Linda: Values is defined as a person’s principles or standards of behavior; ones judgment of what is important in life. Living from our values is closely related to living in integrity. Many people think of integrity as being honest, and that is so, but there is so much more. Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one knows. Integrity is living a life where what we think, feel, say, and do are all lined up as one. When we know ourselves at a deep level, which includes knowing our most important values, we are positioned well to live a life of integrity.
Love is a powerful force, but to marry for love alone, without a through examination of the core values of each of us, the love will not be enough to sustain the partnership over time. And to be eligible for an exemplary relationship, it is essential to be in touch with our deepest values, and once we know what those values, to live our life based in them.
Here are some examples of these core values:
Being the Best
Contribution (Making A Difference)
Skillful Service (Skillful Action)
Do you know your most important values? And are you living in accordance with them? You could take a few minutes right now to do a simple exercise and write down what you discover. I_________________ (name) know that my top five values are ____________________________________that the purpose of my life is to:_______________________________________________.
Our priorities, and how we spend our time, reflect our values. The values that inform our life may be expressed in our career and the way we make our living, but are not necessarily limited to that part of our life. It could be, for instance, that a woman has as her core value, beauty. She dedicates a large segment of her life to manifesting beauty all around her by creating lovely gardens and a gracious, elegant home. Her values may not be expressed in her profession, but she makes a life in accord with her deepest values. Or he may feel that his values are not being utilized in his workplace, but commits to hobbies or volunteer work that enable him to express them. It is being in touch with our passion and gifts in all areas of our life, and then giving of those gifts to the world, that allows for the self-expression that brings the highest levels of well-being.
Abraham Maslow asserts that self-actualized people always, without exception, have a burning value at their core that informs their life’s purpose. Knowing our core values before we choose our partner is a huge advantage in terms of compatibility. When both members of the couple know the values that are most important to them, and are living from them, they are positioned well to have a stable, authentic and vibrant relationship.
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That Which Doesn’t Kill Us: How One Couple Got Stronger at the Broken Places is newly published and has been met with rave reviews. The book is a very personal joint memoir written in alternating chapters describing their experiences during a ten-year period of their marriage in which they endured a series of challenges and ordeals that brought them to the brink of divorce. The book details the process of their descent into relationship hell as well as the process that enabled them to re-establish a connection that was stronger and more mutually fulfilling than what they had ever previously experienced.
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