I’ve been thinking a lot about values lately. I heard the host of the Ramsey Solutions podcast, Dr. John Delony, talk a lot about values and give relationship advice to people telling them that they often have conflict when their values don’t match.
This made me look closely at my own values and how my closest relationships are with those who share those same values. It also made me recognize that conflict with a person usually arises when we argue about a value issue. While most of my close relationships, we share at least 1 value, we don’t necessarily share all of the same values.
Then I also decided to rank my values from most to least important. I came up with the following list of my top 5:
1. Faith in God
3. Personal Health
After I ranked my values, I could see how decisions I make and actions I take match my values. But it also made me recognize how people may not be honest with themselves or others about their true values. I think people do this to primarily be accepted by others. But you’ll find out what a person truly values based on their behaviors (known and unknown).
The “unknown” behaviors are the ones a person lies about to others, which often can be in a form of an addiction. Let’s say an individual who is married has a sexual addiction. That person hides that addiction. But then when the spouse finds out about the addiction, the addict says they are sorry and that they do value their spouse, but the actions show the addict values the sex, otherwise they wouldn’t have done it.
The actions prove the values, and it’s very hard to argue otherwise. One can apologize and say they will change, but if no actions are taken to change, then the values haven’t changed.
People care for and protect people and things they value most. They will do almost anything for that person or thing which they care most about. If the addict is not taking the steps or effort to change then their values have not changed. They are in denial and not being honest with themselves.
I do believe people can change. But the actions are the proof. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, there is help. I’ve gone through the program, Celebrate Recovery , a Christ centered 12 step program. Celebrate Recovery is all people, not just addicts. I am a co-dependent and this program helped me recognize my behaviors.
But while going through 12 step or recovery programs can be helpful, I think people need to focus on values, not just behaviors. Have you ever noticed addicts will often stop using the drug or alcohol, the unacceptable substance and then become addicted to food, shopping or work, a more acceptable addiction. But the value (pleasure) didn’t change, just the substance did. When making changes, we need to look at the heart of the issue, the value.
Are you ready to make a change or to confront someone? For more support or advice, send me a message!