The phone call was like a 9-1-1, but to a friend. By grace, the friend said, “Paul, this is a defining moment. What you decide to do with this moment will determine the rest of your life. You must decide who you are and who you want to be.” That grace touched the core of my being. My core values. I chose my attitude. I chose to live out who I wanted to be rather than who I was expected to be.
The core values became the bedrock that sustained me. I am a kind person. Things and stuff and money can be replaced, relationships cannot. I do not want to allow negative emotions to control me. I want others to forgive her. I don’t want to ever regret something that once made me smile. I will model what I want from others. I will let go of everything except for love.
Forgiveness is a value. It is an act of love for oneself. It is the most selfish thing one can do. I didn’t set out to forgive. Forgiveness was a grace that came to me. Because I lived my values. I modeled to others what I wanted to see in the mirror. Forgiveness is such a wonderful gift. The negativity is gone and all that remains is love. In its purest form.
Your core values are your core. They will provide a solid foundation when life rocks you. We don’t get to choose the events life will bring. We do get to choose our attitude about them. We can learn to not take anything personally and not to make assumptions. Reality can create enough drama. We don’t need to add to it by thinking the world or others are acting against us personally or making assumptions on motives. Life is reality and reality rules. It’s a godlike property that we need to respect. We can choose the God-like quality of creativity, of choosing to create joy, peace, satisfaction and a truly fulfilled life.