As part of International Pagan Blogging Values Month, I thought I would lay down some riffs.
To me, the following values flow from one another through one another until they are one river of conduct, but to break them down-
Courage- As a friend of mine wrote once, courage is not A virtue, it is THE virtue from which all other virtues flow. Courage to face all challenges both internal and external is vital to any kind of meaningful spiritual practice. Courage enables us to look deep into our inner darknesses and learn. Courage enables us to be honest with ourselves even when we don't want to. Courage enables us to call ourselves and others on BS and walk away from it. Courage enables us to be independent when all around us people are clamoring for us to be part of the herd. Courage enables us to manifest joy. Courage also enables us to stand up and model what we believe in.
Self knowledge/self honesty- Know thyself. If you don't know yourself, it's hard to be honest with yourself about what drives you, what frightens you, what angers you, what you love, what weird prejudicial land mines that live in your mind and heart. It should be an ongoing process, because no one knows everything about themselves always. We are too changeable as human beings. And be honest. There are unpleasant messes in the best of person's psyches.
Discernment- When you are brave, self knowledgeable and self honest, then the little BS detector that every thinking adult must have is in place. Use it. It's like a tuning fork, someone tells you something and you listen for the pitch. Does it resonate with you or fall flat? Be responsible for your own discernment, rather than relying on the thoughts and words of others.
Independence-Many heathen constructs are community based, putting the welfare of the many over the welfare of the few. And I'm a believer in community. But if you can not stand on your own and stand up for your own opinions, then you are not living to the fullness of your potential. Independence in thought, word and deed is a good thing.
Joyfulness- There is so much energy, work and time expended in a spiritual practice. If your spiritual practice doesn't lift you up, inspire you, fill you with joy and great gladness, STOP DOING IT. Move on, find something else that does. Now, not every spiritual practice is happy-happy-joy-joy all the time. Some life lessons are hard and painful. But it doesn't have to hurt to be meaningful. And if it hurts more often than it heals, look elsewhere.
In my experience. Your mileage will most certainly vary.
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