Lots of turmoil out there in the world that we need to pay attention to and still stay balanced about. I’ve heard from a few of you about having some sleepless nights recently. My theory has always been that action ceases panic. If you are feeling stressed, shift into action and create an outlet for your energy and anxiety. Write an email to your Senator, donate to an organization that’s working on the source of your anxiety, or volunteer at a local level. Find out how you can make a difference and contribute to positive change. And remind yourself of what your core values are. This will help you decide the role you want to play.
Why should you have values? Values are a good check and balance system to help guide you through tough times. And you can use them to help yourself grow. For example, if you value integrity, you’ll find a way to live your life in alignment with that – pay your share, speak the truth even when it’s hard to do, do what’s right by those who agree with you and those who don’t, and stick to what you know to be true and right, instead of following the herd. If you value kindness, a good test is to go out and drive in traffic right now (at least in Denver!). Drivers can test your abilities at the best of times. Finally, if you value love, spread love by infusing it into everything you say or do – to yourself or others.
When you find that your values are being tested by those who are your representatives at all levels of business or government, it’s easy to fall into a cycle of moaning and complaining. It’s also easy to get into the weeds and start doing and saying things that go against your values (I’m looking at you, Facebook comment section!). You and I both know that, really, the best thing we can do is to get involved. Sign up to help register people to vote, or join a committee in your local area. Find an organization that needs your skills, and donate them. If you aren’t able to get out and serve, find a way to volunteer by phone or through email or writing snail mail letters. The very worst thing any of us can do right now is give up.
Your values are precious. They are uniquely yours. None of us likes to have other peoples’ values imposed upon us, and so we have to stand up for ours when they are jeopardized. A minister came to my house this week and demanded that I tell him if I have been “saved.” I was polite but firm, freedom is one of my core values. I took the time to speak with him but when I saw that he wasn’t really interested in dialogue or discussion, I found a way to politely end our conversation. Sometimes your ability to speak with others will help them. Other times, it may be a dead end.
This week, put your values to the test. Choose to live in alignment with them and ask others to share their values with you, so that we keep this conversation open. If you feel moved by something you see or hear, do something about it. Your creative genius action will always make a difference.