This morning we conclude our review of our Mission, Vision and Values Statements.
This has been an important reminder of who we are, what we stand for and what we hope to mean in our Unity Family, our Community and our world.
Several years ago, we held a workshop to determine our Mission, Vision and Values. As I recall, we had great participation & feedback on developing the statements we chose.
Our values are principles or standards of belief that motivates us to act in certain ways.
Inclusive– We celebrate diversity unconditionally as an expression of Spirit.
Not excluding any particular groups of people: Two weeks ago, I spoke to you about Pride Month, celebrating the acceptance, and achievements of those people who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community.
We also got to review the Unity Statement of Diversity and Inclusion:
Together we embrace our individuality. We celebrate our uniqueness with full acceptance of all people, including every expression of the Divine. We come together with love and compassion to be a light for all. We stand together in Unity.
It is not only the LGBTQ+ community that we include in our Ministry here at Unity Spiritual Center of Coastal Delaware; it is everyone. Gay, straight, bi, non-binary, different cultures, different abilities, different folks. We strongly and truly believe we are all One.
Spiritual– We honor all people and their paths to Divine Source.
Relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things; things of a spiritual, ecclesiastical, or religious nature
It’s about non-religious experiences that help them get in touch with their spiritual selves through quiet reflection, time in nature, private prayer, yoga, or meditation.
It’s correlated with better physical and mental health, including better sleep, lower blood pressure, and an overall lower rate of mortality. Higher levels of spirituality have also been linked to increased compassion, strengthened relationships, and improved self-esteem.
Galen Watts–An instinct toward spirituality appears to be deeply ingrained in humans.
first, that they believe there is more to the world than meets the eye, that is to say, more than the mere material. Second, that they try to attend to their inner life — to their mental and emotional states — in the hopes of gaining a certain kind of self-knowledge. Third, that they value the following virtues: being compassionate, empathetic and open-hearted.
Accepting– We are open and receptive to new ways of thinking, doing and being.
It means to Believe or come to recognize (an opinion, explanation, etc.) as valid or correct;
I like the word acceptance rather than tolerance. I stated at the beginning of the month that I do not care for the word tolerance. And I do not believe anyone would if they looked carefully at the two words.
One of the accepted definitions for tolerance is the allowable deviation from a standard.
I am NOT a deviation. And neither are you. I am a child of God, a divine being, a spiritual being having this human experience. I do not want to be tolerated, I wish to be accepted. Everyone’s desire is to be accepted for who they are.
So we at Unity are willing to listen to new ideas, to read new books and have conversations with others about different ideas. We seek to understand.
Supportive– We care for the community by giving of our time, talents and treasures.
This means providing encouragement or emotional help to our Unity family and the greater community. We agree to be a support in time, talent and treasure so Unity can continue to be a presence & support here in Delaware.
We at Unity wish to be a supportive family to our friends and Unity congregants. We also wish to be supportive to our community through our out-reach programs and our support through our tithes to community and to greater Unity.
Please know that we as a Unity Family are here for you. Reach out to us and let other shear from you as we all go through human experiences.
Please also understand that to be supportive means to support Unity Spiritual Center of Coastal Delaware in every way…time, talent, & treasure. All of you have been made aware of the rent increase here at this Center. That means that, to maintain a presence, we all must step up to aid in maintaining it.
It also means to show up in every way that calls to you. I would love to see you all here in person at the Center. And on those days when you cannot make it, let us know that you are there on FB, joining in with us as we sing and here comforting words in the Message of the day.
Let us know you are there to support us.
Safe– With love in our hearts, we are free to be our authentic selves.
Safe means to be protected from or not exposed to danger or risk; not likely to be harmed or lost. This goes along with being accepted and supported in our Unity Family. We wish to be accepted for who we are, not matter how we express ourselves as long as we are respectful of others.
It also means that we maintain a safe space for us to gather, to discuss different ideas, to sing and to support each other.
Loving– With open hearts, we embrace the best in each person.
To be loving means to feel or show love or great care.
This too, goes along with the other Values. If we are being true to who we truly are, then we are loving, we are accepting; we are supportive.
My mantra throughout most of my life has been, love is the answer. I changed that to loving is the answer, because I came to believe that love must be an action word. Our 5th Principle, we must put action to what we believe.
I am wondering if this discussion of the values we have chosen for Unity Spiritual Center of Coastal Delaware has prompted you to consider what your own personal values are.
Sometimes our personal values are what we have grown up with. However, we often will question those when they go against what we learn as we step away from our families and make a life separate from them.
My values, my integrity is much different than my family. I have lived a very different life than most of my brothers and my sister. And not only because I identify differently from them but also because I have been exposed to many different cultures and lifestyles.
It’s important to know your values, to know what determines your ethical choices.
Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work.
They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.
When the things that you do and the way you behave match your values, life is usually good – you’re satisfied and content. But when these don’t align with your personal values, that’s when things feel… wrong. This can be a real source of unhappiness.
This is why making a conscious effort to identify your values is so important.
Values are guides to human behavior.
Abraham Maslow, the groundbreaking psychologist responsible for the hierarchy of needs, also noted that they’re an integral part of self-actualization.
Values reside within. Rather than being created, they’re discovered.
Values are usually fairly stable, yet they don’t have strict limits or boundaries. Also, as you move through life, your values may change. For example, when you start your career, success – measured by money and status – might be a top priority. But after you have a family, work-life balance may be what you value more.
As your definition of success changes, so do your personal values. This is why keeping in touch with your values is a lifelong exercise. You should continuously revisit this, especially if you start to feel unbalanced… and you can’t quite figure out why.
When you define your personal values, you discover what’s truly important to you. A good way of starting to do this is to look back on your life – to identify when you felt really good, and really confident that you were making good choices.
Step 1: Identify the times when you were happiest
Find examples from both your career and personal life. This will ensure some balance in your answers.
- What were you doing?
- Were you with other people? Who?
- What other factors contributed to your happiness?
Step 2: Identify the times when you were most proud
Use examples from your career and personal life.
- Why were you proud?
- Did other people share your pride? Who?
- What other factors contributed to your feelings of pride?
Step 3: Identify the times when you were most fulfilled and satisfied
Again, use both work and personal examples.
- What need or desire was fulfilled?
- How and why did the experience give your life meaning?
- What other factors contributed to your feelings of fulfillment?
Step 4: Determine your top values, based on your experiences of happiness, pride, and fulfillment
Why is each experience truly important and memorable? You can check out Core Values List: Over 50 Common Personal Values (jamesclear.com) to aid your search.
Step 5: Prioritize your top values
This step is probably the most difficult, because you’ll have to look deep inside yourself. It’s also the most important step, because, when making a decision, you’ll have to choose between solutions that may satisfy different values. This is when you must know which value is more important to you.
- Write down your top values, not in any particular order.
- Look at the first two values and ask yourself, “If I could satisfy only one of these, which would I choose?” It might help to visualize a situation in which you would have to make that choice. For example, if you compare the values of service and stability, imagine that you must decide whether to sell your house and move to another country to do valuable foreign aid work, or keep your house and volunteer to do charity work closer to home.
- Keep working through the list, by comparing each value with each other value, until your list is in the correct order.
Step 6: Reaffirm your values
Check your top-priority values, and make sure that they fit with your life and your vision for yourself.
- Do these values make you feel good about yourself?
- Are you proud of your top three values?
- Would you be comfortable and proud to tell your values to people you respect and admire?
- Do these values represent things you would support, even if your choice isn’t popular, and it puts you in the minority?
When you consider your values in decision making, you can be sure to keep your sense of integrity and what you know is right, and approach decisions with confidence and clarity. You’ll also know that what you’re doing is best for your current and future happiness and satisfaction.
Making value-based choices may not always be easy. However, making a choice that you know is right is a lot less difficult in the long run.
Core values are those that are most meaningful, residing at the core of being. Core is defined as “the part of something that is central to its existence or characters,” The image of a seed sprouting is a useful metaphor for growth and self-actualization: there is a place within where the truth of our core values resides.
Not only that, but core originates from the Latin cor, which means heart. Bringing this terminology together gives us “qualities that reside in the heart, shaping who it is you are here to become.”
Due to their significance, core values play a big role in motivation. Why do you do the things you do? It’s likely there are core values that act as intrinsic motivation, below the surface. For example, having a dream to become a millionaire might be less about cold hard cash, more about a core value of freedom and independence.
Take some time to at least ponder your values, your integrity. It is very important, and once you do, you will find that making choices along the way become easier because you KNOW yourself and what is important to your heart.