by Lee Wolak
To determine the origin of our motivations in life, we might ask what our life centers on. We may be a parent that pours everything into the family; a dutiful son or daughter that always puts our parents first; someone that often put the needs of our friends before our own; or a person that plays small at work so they don’t rock the boat with coworkers and bosses.
If so, then the question is why we do that—intention behind what we do—because it makes all the difference between living from our values and living in obligation to something outside of ourselves. When we determine our purpose and values, we set ourselves free from others.
It sounds simple enough, but we really have to do the work to make that happen. When we do determine our purpose, figure out what we really value and live from that mindset in everything we do, we’ll have the freedom to no longer care what others think. That is key. To paraphrase Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements:
- Be impeccable with your word. This is difficult to do until we figure out our values and purpose. Once we do, we can align our words and actions with our purpose. It becomes easy to say no to those requests that do not support our highest values.
- Never make assumptions. We never know what the other person is going to think, so we just live from our values and be true to who we are. The other people shouldn’t determine that for us.
- Always do your best. Self-loving is about being the best person that we can be.
- Never take anything personally. The only time we take things personally is when we’re not authentic; not true to our values or our purpose.
If we try to change to meet someone else’s idea of who and what we should be, the main questions is what we are going to change into. When we feel that we have to change, we’re not being true to who we are and we lose ourselves. This is when depression, anxiety and addiction can come into play because we don’t know where else to turn.
When we live authentically from our values and live with purpose, our whole world opens up. There may be others, even family and friends, that judge us, criticize us or expect us to act and live a certain way that’s comfortable for them. But they aren’t the ones living our life; we are. Only we have the power to determine how we live and who we live for. Focusing on our values and purpose sets us free from subordinating ourselves to the wills and ideals of others. That is living authentically and that is self-love.
Rev. Lee Wolak heads the Agape Center for Spiritual Living in Frisco. They meet every Sun. for Celebration Services and Wed. for meditation. For more information, call 972- 468-1331 or visit AgapeCSL.com.