During the snowy beginnings of 2019, I buckled up and dug into curating my top life values.
The work was guided initially from a book club I was leading at the time for Brené Brown’s, “Dare to Lead,” but lasted far after the book discussions ended.
I was given the advice to limit my values to two – no more, no less.
I initially made a list of five, and finally narrowed it down to three. (As a counterphobic enneagram six, I’m not too bothered by following rules that don’t work for me.)
“Honesty” and “warmth” felt like coming home to myself; hummed deep in my core – I felt alignment and belonging in my bones.
“Courage,” however, was a stretch value for me. I wanted to be more courageous – so I set it as a vision to accomplish through perseverance.
After the snow melted into a buttery, warm spring I experienced loss that changed everything.
A seismic disruption that pulled me apart.
looking for ways to put everything back together.
But broken doesn’t neatly repair.
I clung to “warmth” and “honesty” as guiding lights and told myself
I wasn’t strong enough
mentally healthy enough
to keep claim to “courage.”
So I quietly limped away from owning “courage;” let it drift coldly like the frozen leaves I crunched on walking into Fall.
It can be tricky to hear the universe whisper to you over the building sounds of self-repair.
But it remains persistent.
For weeks I had internally been cringing at the mention of confidence.
One afternoon I was reading an email about a new book launch and a small line stuck out to me
Confidence comes from claiming our truth.
I made myself stare this idea down. Re-wrote it on a sticky note to keep chewing on later.
I was definitely working my ass off to claim my own truths. Sharing untold stories on friends’ couches, in new digital spaces, through my fledgling manuscript.
I did some rough mathematical calculations based on the initial sentence and finally made eye contact with my broken self.
if confidence = courage (in my opinion)
and truth claimin’ = confidence
by the transitive property I was already seeking courage.
I had a choice to make.
I could continue to ignore what was hurting and perpetuate “disappointment” with myself (shame monsters can be scary to face)
For giving up on my own strength for a little while.
For keeping love from myself when I needed it.
For being afraid and running from yet another painful thing.
I re-wrote the prompt to read:
Courage comes from claiming your truth.
When I’m nervous or scared you better believe I’ll be repeating this to myself silently (or not so silently – I have an unconscious habit of mumbling when I think I’m alone).
It’ll be a trust-building exercise with myself.
when I want to run.
To feel strong
when the pain is aching
and the doubts grow louder.
How do you see life values at play in your own life?