It is no surprise that this year has been painful and difficult for most if not all. We have had to adapt to innumerable changes that have left us overwhelmed, disillusioned, and maybe even helpless. Maybe you have felt stuck and struggled to make decisions. It’s hard not to focus on all of the potential dangers and things that are out of our control. I believe we desperately need a shift in our focus. God still wants us to live an “abundant life”. He has not forsaken that promise just because things in our world seem crazy right now.
Every day we are bombarded with thoughts, feelings, emotions, sensations, and other internal experiences which then influence the way we act and the choices we make. These choices take us either closer toward or further away from the person we want to be, the life we want to live. This usually means the difference between experiencing fulfillment or frustration.
It’s important to first identify what that life you want to live looks like, those things which you value. By values, I’m referring to those deepest desires of your heart, those things which you want to influence how you behave toward yourself and others. These values might look like honesty, generosity, health, independence, adventure, uniqueness, authenticity, kindness, responsibility, pleasure, etc. You may be wondering what next? Now you are able to evaluate whether the choices and decisions you make are in line with these values and moving you toward that life you want to live. It is helpful to look at that moment of a choice and ask, “will this choice move me toward that person I want to be (is it in line with my values) or will it move me further away”?
Maybe you’ve had the thought, “I have to feel a certain way before I can do (fill in the blank)”. The great thing about looking at your choices in light of these values is that you can make these toward moves even when you don’t feel like it. Those values often require choices that are difficult or uncomfortable and let’s face it, we tend not to want to do things that are uncomfortable or difficult. However, as long as you are making choices based on your values, you will make toward moves regardless of circumstances, emotions, or what your thoughts are telling you. For instance, that person who says that they value being healthy or a healthy lifestyle may find it difficult to keep exercising or eat better but they continue to do these difficult things because their values tell them the reward for these toward moves will lead to the life they want.
So, now that you’ve considered your values, what is a choice you have put off making because of fear or anger or the thought that “I’m not good enough”? Listen to those values and let those be what influence your next move!
By Christina Allegri