Hello Wild Things!
This week on the podcast, I talked about Values vs. Morals. And I know, I know, I know…that doesn’t sound too exciting. But if there’s something we waaaaay underestimate, it’s what morals take away from us and what VALUES give us.
Freedom. Creativity. Power.
Especially now, when our morals systems (religion, government, even families) are crumbling to dust around us, we need Values. We’re watching a Great Collapse of our primary structures that have sort of held us together for so long. Now…they didn’t really hold us together as much as we’d like to think, when you consider all the races, genders, orientations, and impoverished people that suffered at the hands of this moral control.
Nope, these moral systems didn’t hold us together. They CONTROLLED US. And while we’re in the middle of the Great Collapse, it’s not too soon or too late to create something new.
Let me introduce you to Values. Here’s a bunch of reasons that Values need to replace Morals in our world. And…this is really important…why your own Values can change your life, give you freedom like you’ve never experienced, and bring magic back to you.
1. Morals are control mechanisms. Values are tools.
The morals we grew up with were put upon us as “shoulds” and “have tos”. Having good morals (regardless of your culture) has to do with being a good family member, citizen, church member, etc. Our very acceptance into culture, our ability to have certain relationships, careers, and even the idea of getting to heaven after we die are all based on morals
Values, however, are yours. They don’t come from others, they come from who you are and what you love. They come from the heart & soul, and are most often associated with things like kindness, gratitude, compassion. They are tools to create good lives, good connections, and good communities.
2. Morals are about what you do, Values are about WHO YOU ARE.
This is pretty simple…morals are handed down from others and tell you how to live. They certainly aren’t all terrible, but when you live by the concepts of compassion and kindness as morals, you’re still living under something that tells you what to do and how to do it.
But Values, because you choose them, are more about living authentically and purposefully. Once you’ve discovered your values, you choose how to express them.
3. Morals tell you what to do. Values allow you to choose freely.
A moral is already there, set in stone. And while people can quibble about the minutia of a moral, the intent is for the moral to be followed without question.
But because you choose your values based on your authentic self, they can be used as a baseline for any choices you make in your life.
4. Morals censor your stories. Values evolve them.
Morals are super limiting. When you’re trying to get unstuck, or do something new, they’ll get in the way of well-meaning progress the same way a fallen boulder blocks a road. For example, “I can’t be too successful because “I’m not supposed to be greedy”.
With an understanding of your values, your stories are unlimited. There won’t be anything in your life that is unauthentic to who you are. Your values are the foundations from which new, enlightening, beautiful, magical stories are told.
5. Morals pull on us externally. Values nourish us.
Morals ARE external because they’re given to us, put upon us. They can’t bring us what we need, although depending on the situation, they might give us a false sense of safety. And a shared system of morality, in a perfect world, would actually be designed out of collective values instead of controlling morals.
Values nourish us, because when you know your values and when you align your life with them, it’s an organic experience. You feel good about the choices you’re making, the direction you’re going, you’re being authentic and true to yourself. You’re in the FLOW OF LIFE which is that wild, magical place to be.
So let me explain a little bit more of what Values actually are. In a sense, they’re IDEALS. But they’re also like a GIFT, because they’re attainable and inherent to each of us. Values include things like love, play, kindness, hope, beauty, justice, growth, abundance, wildness, and countless other things.
Your authentic Values are a foundation for your life. They’re your advocate, always looking out for you and for the collective good. They’ll never cause you to self-abandon. They don’t promote judgment, but they will insist on change when necessary. They’re aligned with your wildness. When you make a choice based on your values, you’re making the best choice, hands down.
Values keep you creative, curious and inclusive.
You’ve probably heard of the idea of “core values”. We do have core values, and also what I call “orbiting values”…those are things that may be super important to you for a period of time and then they move out of priority when you need a different focus. Like, if you’re starting a business, your foundation can be based on your core values, perhaps kindness, play, and compassion.
You know you want to create a company that expresses and embodies these Values. But your orbiting Values might switch from whatever you were most focused on previously…whether it was a job, family, or something else…and become aligned with your vision for your business. Maybe you’d adopt the values of fairness, prosperity, service (or something else entirely; these are your Values, after all).
So, that’s my spiel on Values for now, I hope you can find a little more magic in the idea than at the beginning of the blog.
If you want to know more about Values, and try a fun exercise to help you start to discover your own Values, check out The WildCast, the official podcast of The WildCrafted Life.
There, I talk about everything we do in TWCL, like connecting to our Wild Self, re-creating our lives through the Power of Story, and of course, Values.
Until next Tuesday, I hope you have an amazing week!
Make it Wild, Make it Magical.