Searching for Values and Guiding Principles

As I sit down to write this, I have no idea what to say. No plan or grounding idea. 

The longer I spend pondering what to say, the more lost I am.

This lostness is part of why I’ve gotten nothing done in a writing sense through most of 2018. 

My goal right now is not to make sense, or to be profound.

The goal is simply to write. For my own damn good.

How is writing for the sake of writing good for me?

Well, it is communication with myself, which is valuable.

It is especially valuable when I don’t feel like it, but do it anyway. Because when I don’t feel like it, that often probably means I am hiding something from myself.

To find hidden parts is to develop completeness. 

Completeness, in the sense that I mean it, is the impetus for being able to walk through this world and function competently.

If you were to ask me what my core values and guiding principles are, I’d draw a blank. Those are parts of me I’ve lost track of in the midst of depression and self-isolation. I do not know how to communicate these aspects of myself, because they are lost to me.

If I were to find them, I might be slightly more solid and enduring in this world. 

So, what am I hiding from myself and why?

Perhaps my core values and guiding principles are not merely hiding. Perhaps they’ve been destroyed by failure, cynicism, and decay, and I need to find or generate new ones. 

Yet again, I am obviously guided and value by something, or I wouldn’t write these words. 

So, let’s get truly basic. Apparently, I value self-expression. Communication. Writing, as a tool to do so, and to probe myself for answers. 

I also value transparency. Although I’m not writing for a particular audience other than myself, I let these words be public. If someone reads this and relates to it, then we might feel less alone in the world. 

I value honesty, or what’s the point in communication?  Without honesty, communication and transparency are toxic and counterproductive. 

What about my guiding principles?

Why bother getting out of bed every day?

Well, the truth is, I struggle immensely with getting out of bed on a daily basis. 

I struggle with feeling adrift and meandering, like my life is stuck and pointless. 

In response to a previous post, someone wrote:

“Don’t look back to see forward; pick any one of the problems in the world, fix it; repeat.”

The first problem I see in the world is me. I’ve found myself confused about where I stand in the world, and bewildered about this heavy anchor of pointlessness that weighs me down. 

I’m not quite apathetic. I probably care too much. But, I care about this world in a way that separates me from society in a very ironic way. 

I tend to take all sides in a debate. 

It’s not standing for nothing.

It’s standing for everyone. 

It’s knowing that a perpetrator is a victim too, in their own way. And that there are valid sets of reasons for the ways that people behave. 

But to empathize with a perpetrator is normally unforgivable in the eyes of their victim, even if my heart is very much with all involved. 

In no way do I condone anyone’s behavior that oppresses or assaults other people. I just believe that to villainize a human being is a lazy short-cut that doesn’t bring society any closer to remedying the underlying causes for the villainy. 

We need to look deeper. To keep going, past the surface. 

Aha, I’ve uncovered another hidden value. 

But it is a value that has caused me a great deal of grief and heartache, so I’ve abandoned it. 

It’s a part of me though. No escaping that. May as well look it in the eyes, own it, and do my best with it. 

This is all I’ve got for today.

Today, I have the opportunity to help a family member run some errands. 

It’s a reason to get out of bed, and it’s helpful to someone other than myself. 

It’s a start.


Also published on Medium.