A dear friend asked me what my values were yesterday, and then I read this post (from Karl Duffy at minfulbalance.org) not long after. I expect my values will show themselves in a poem or song in the next day or two but they definitely include family, nonviolence, connection, beauty… are these values not also changing?
You may struggle to understand your authentic self. For instance, you may unconsciously assume that you are the collection of old habits of mind that you have accrued over your lifetime in reaction to difficulty, disappointment and uncertainty. You may believe you are someone who is anxious because as a child you had to endure a constant stream of criticism from your parents. Or you may see yourself as a failure because you haven’t achieved your career goals. But these conditioned mind states are not you – they are merely thoughts and feelings. These thoughts and feelings, as you can observe for yourself, are temporary and ever-changing, and arise episodically. So while they may characterise your experience sometimes, they don’t define you. Your authentic self is defined by the values from which you respond to these mind states.
Phillip Moffitt, Emotional Chaos to Clarity