Have you ever thought about whether the belief systems that shape your life decisions harmonize with your emotions?
Our ideas and definitions of what we intellectually value will be at their strongest if the person’s emotions are in agreement with these.
If there is friction between how someone feels about the beliefs they are living, then inner traffic jams will likely occur and take shape as self-questioning, feeling inadequate and unsure, and so many other more-than-unpleasant nagging feelings.
Let’s work with the sense of happiness, a word which most of us feel an inner smile just by reading.
While most people know how happiness feels, some areas of life (such as being reunited with a loved one, for instance) are in universal agreement. However, in most sectors of our lives, the definition of how we feel in facing situations and decisions is very particular and unique to us as individuals.
Healthy values, whether universal or unique, are rooted in our deepest emotions, which are the source encouraging us to relate, connect, and feel care toward all humans.
If, for example, a person’s particular value system is, "wealth is necessary for happiness," and this is planted in sensitivity and care for the financial stability of others, then the person who pursues financial wealth will not damage others while working from their particular value of money being a key part of feeling happy.
If this person is disconnected from feeling the universal emotion of empathy for humanity, feels no inner tension knowing that some people’s lives are painful because they lack money, then this person may cause harm to others.
Most likely, too, eventually the person will harm themselves since there is only so long that a person is able to ignore feeling the universal connection among all people.
Greed and selfishness characterize someone whose particular values extremely exclude others from their interest, which is unnatural to human emotions and the basic care for each other.
Martyrdom and self-sacrifice define someone whose particular values are focused on others’ well-being to the imbalanced point of overlooking their own needs. This tendency is also unnatural because care for all includes one’s Self.
Where are your values on the spectrum, and are they balanced with self-knowledge about your emotions?