Today, speaking to a friend of mine about how important I feel it is to allow Ravenna to dictate her own relationship with Jaimes, based on her own experiences, wants, and needs, uncolored by my own issues with him, I realized I was speaking quite passionately. This gift to her is greatly important to me and speaks to one of my core values. That got me thinking; what are my other core values? What drives my choices? As an exercise, I'm going to post a few now, and then post others as they come to me over the next few days.
* Give my children the gift of a clean slate. Maintain an understanding of what my own issues are, and with whom I have issues...and keep those as my own issues. Do not pass them on. Let my children develop their own relationships with people and the world, unfettered by my biases, prejudices, and injuries.
* Maintain dignity in my interactions with the world and with others. Treat others with dignity.
* Reach out to the people around me with love. Be a healing, nurturing force in their lives where and when I am able.
* Don't become too attached to wealth or material belongings. Save and be thrifty where it makes sense, but never lose a sense of generosity or a wanting to share what I have with those I love.
* Be open to goodness. Find joy in small things. Allow myself to be surprised and to notice and engage the world in new ways.
* Take sadness, angst, grief, anger, jealousy, fear, any number of other "negative" emotions, let myself feel them, savor them, truly experience them, and realize that they enhance the overarching experience of a life. Only through contrast can we most truly appreciate what we are and what we have.
* Respect my body. Foster an awareness of my body, of what effects my actions and non-actions have on my body. Breathe. Don't be afraid to take risks and to act at times in ways that stress or challenge my body, but be aware of the causal relationships and mindful of what it is that I am doing. Care for it when I push it to or beyond comfortable limits.
* Respect my spirit. Foster an awareness of what effects my actions and non-actions have on my spirituality and on my emotional well-being. Don't be afraid to take risks and to act at times in ways that cause emotional or spiritual conflict, but be aware of the causal relationships and mindful of what it is that I am doing. Care for it when I push it to or beyond comfortable limits.
* Act in awareness. Be mindful of what effect my actions have. Try to keep from acting in cruelty borne of carelessness; if I am to act or speak cruelly or unkindly, let myself be mindful that I am doing so, and take full responsibility for what I am saying, what I am doing, and any consequences it may have.
* Advocate for myself, for my own needs to be be met, but with mindfulness and awareness. Stand up for myself and be sure to find space and resource to adequately care for myself.