The core value in your life

Fred Cavaiani

Everyone has core values. Not everyone lives by these core values. The reason: we often fail to write them down and consciously reflect on them. What are your core values? Here is a list of Core Values that could fit each of us. 1) Total honesty with self. 2) A belief in a God or a Power that is bigger and wiser than us. 3) A compassionate heart towards all. 4) A willingness to journey with others throughout life. 5) A decision to share our inner self with others. 6) A decision to never deceive oneself through rationalizations or conning ourselves into maladaptive behavior. 7) A decision to take care of our body through consistent exercise 8) A decision to develop a spiritual life through daily meditation. 9) Never to spend time judging or condemning others. 10) Listening to learn, not listening to respond and impart "my wisdom." 11) Accepting the limitations of other people and the limitations of life. 12. Letting go of the need to change others and letting go of investing energy in how other people should change. 13) Realizing that there are only two important things in life: to immerse myself into a deeper union with God and to bring more love and compassion into the world.

All of these core values are really contained in the 13th core value. The first 12 are practical ways of living the 13th core value, which contains all the others.

Writing down our Core Values challenges us to look deeper within. It becomes a nudge to change. These nudges to change keep happening to everyone. But we can avoid these nudges by staying busy. We can refuse to have silent time in our life. Silent time means reflective time. It means to gaze deeper within and discover what is the main purpose of our life. Core Values keep pushing us to look and experience things on a deeper level.

During this time of electing a President our core values can start surfacing again. We can become angry and frustrated about the candidates or at least about the other party's candidate. We can get easily upset if our friends think differently. We can condemn and judge others because they think differently. It is at times like this that we can lose our balance and emotional equilibrium. Somehow we think the world should be the way we think it should be and if people only understood how we think the world would be much better off.

However, real change in life only happens when I start practicing my own core values if they contain the qualities mentioned above. If my core values contain anger, judgments and condemnations of others, the same old conflict and tension will continue. But if my core values contain love, compassion, gentle reflection, and total openness and honesty with my inner self, and a relationship with God that is deep and personal, then I begin to promote peace into the world. I challenge tension and anger with patience and compassion. I resist tyranny and absolute control with love and wisdom. Love and wisdom will always win out in the long run. Show me a loving and kind person and I will show you a wise and gentle person. Show me an angry and condemning person and I will show you someone who is blocked off from experiencing life, love and profound connections with others.

Wisdom doesn't come from condemning others. It comes from expressing my positive goals and ideas about life. Wisdom comes from a gentle and profound relationship with God. Wisdom comes from feeling loved and loving others. Love is never conditional. It is always inclusive.

My Core Values will tell me the right direction if they have the above mentioned qualities. It is never a joy to be around angry, critical people. But I can make it a joy for angry and critical people to be around me by surrounding them with my love and compassion. The best defense is a good offense. The best offense in life is Love, Compassion, a relationship with a Loving and Compassionate God, and a humble sharing of my feelings and thoughts with other people in a kind and empathic manner. I can love you deeply without having to agree with you. But I never have to condemn you or judge you. I simply have to love you. But to do this I must first be gentle, kind, loving, prayerful and compassionate toward myself. This will happen by spending much quiet time with God and a daily reflection on my Core Values in life. Then I bring goodness and God into the world. However this may be accepted or rejected is not my concern. But positively bringing goodness to all is the most important thing for my own peace and happiness and the most powerful act I can do to better this world. I will look at my Core Values today and seriously ponder if I am living by them. It is the least I can do for you and for myself.

Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage counselor and psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeast Michigan. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 248-362-3340. His e-mail address is: Fredcavi@ and his website is

Published: Tue, Oct 04, 2016