It has taken a long time for me to generate a post in response to the Pagan Values Blogject. I’ve been very busy with deadlines, kids and catching up on Season 3 of Game of Thrones. Priorities are priorities after all… Wait!
There’s Personal Value #1:
“Create and guard priorities.” Prioritizing your needs, wants and “to dos” helps to maintain balance and peace so that the whirlwind of life doesn’t sweep you up into a never never land of anxiety.
But I digress. Although I didn’t write a post, I did read many of those offered. I did think about my own value system and its nuances. In fact, I have always made it a practice to consider and reconsider my values on a daily basis. This renegotiation happens most profoundly when I unintentionally end up in a boxing ring with someone else’s belief system.
There is another Personal Value …. #2:
“Evaluate and Reevaluate your beliefs daily” Life changes. We change. That’s OK. Sometimes we find our values outdated or based on misinformation. That’s OK. Evaluate and Reevaluate. Negotiate and Renegotiate.
So if values change then priorities must change as well. Value systems are work. Hard and exhausting work.
Personal Value #3:
“Work hard or go home.” Half-ass effort gets you half-ass results. That’s all I have to say about that.
Back to belief systems. They not only take effort but courage. It sometimes takes real inner strength to face up to our hardened and accepted values. It takes courage to face change or enact change.
We must confront the beliefs gained through childhood osmosis and those we picked up during our hedonistic teen years. What about the lingering idealistic beliefs that we adopted in college? We need courage to face all of them. We need to figure out which values are just collecting dust and which lull us into a comfortable sleep each night.
So here is Personal Value #4:
“Build and sustain courage to face who you are, who you were, who you want to be and work to make that happen.”
Life is work. Values are work. Courage is work. Damn, I’m tired. When’s happy hour?
After doing all this work, what is left. Choices. We have to choose how to prioritize… back to #1. We have to choose what to do with what we have. Who are we going to be today? Who are we going to be tomorrow? And those choices take courage… back to #4. More work!
Most importantly, we have to take responsibility for those choices. Let me repeate that sentence. We have to take responsibility for those choices.
Personal Value #5:
“Take responsibility for your life. The good, bad and ugly.” I chose to watch Game of Thrones instead of writing this post. It is my fault that it didn’t get posted on the Blogject website. It is my fault that nobody read it. I made a choice. And I will reap the benefits of anonymity. Back to HBO!
My life. My choice.
So let’s review:
1. Set and guard priorities
2. Evalute beliefs daily
3. Nurture the courage to face one self
4. Work Hard
Perhaps these aren’t really Pagan specific values. I didn’t mention compassion, service, and eco-conservation. In fact, my five “values” aren’t really traditional values at all. They are modes of operation and apply to anyone of any religion. So how can I bring them full circle and place them within the pentacle of Pagan spirituality?
Religion itself doesn’t create values. Most religious systems have the same or similar basic values. Don’t kill. Don’t steal. Don’t run with scissors.
Religions tell us why we should have these values? Why shouldn’t we kill or steal? Why we shouldn’t run through the house with scissors after consuming pop rocks and Coca Cola? Religion answers these questions.
Okay, maybe not the pop rocks thing.
Paganism – my Paganism – sets a high value on living – on life. My five personal life values or modes of operation are all tied up in one single idea: Live life in the now!
I value those concepts because right now and right here I am experiencing an adventure that is created by me and limited only by my own choices. Each and everyone of us is doing the same thing. Compassion, service, love, environmentalism and all of those treasured Pagan values are secondary choices that we make within that adventure. If we choose to live without compassion, we will die alone. If we litter, the Earth will become inhabitable. If we eat pop rocks and drink soda, we will explode. Life is a journey of our own making.
Prioritize and Evaluate, Find Your Courage, Work Hard, Take Responsibility…
We are all part of this wonderful living amoeba of existence. You, me and the bald guy waving at me from across the street. I am only one piece of this magical world and damn if I’m not going to experience as much as I can – living each moment fully and completely. That leads to a final value…
Personal Value #6: Life if beautiful.