Drilling to the Core

The not so grand canyon

          Monday is here and, unlike most parents of this great country, we have our kids home. Why? Teacher planning day. The concept of ’Teacher Planning Day’ seems ridiculous to us. As teachers, we were planning all the time and the moment the kids left, we were cleaning up the mess. Perhaps it is just us but we see this as another example of how people define things. People say everything is relative and that includes the ways of being and values that matter the most to us. So strap yourself in because we are getting really deep this week. How deep? We’re drilling to the core!

          Lee says: There is a lot of talk in the self-help field about core values. Kids in school are even getting mini pep talks on core values while learning about bullying. But this is not a subject matter that should be paired with something. Not unlike bacon, this subject stands very well on its own and yet can be matched with any other personal effectiveness topic or food. I guess what I’m  saying is that I should probably avoid writing when I’m hungry. But this brings us to one of my core values; integrity. I promised I would get this post done and barring a bacon frenzy, I will finish it.

          So what are core values and why talk about them on CoupleDumb? Excellent questions! A core value is the moral code by which we set our foundations as a person. These are the consistent, abstract ideals that we hold to be important. Within your values, they tend to not contradict one another and they are abstract enough to apply to any situation. These values are what I call the ‘deal breakers’. If an individual does not value these ideals as much as you do, a relationship is impossible.

          As a human being, to prepare yourself for relationship, you must get very clear about your core values. A healthy relationship does not consist of great chemistry, hot sex and a love for karaoke. A great relationship is simply compatible core values. The other stuff is just icing on the cake. Or perhaps you will understand it this way. Chemistry, sex and compatible hobbies are like a delicious cream cheese frosting and conflicting core values is like a cake made with salt and garlic. Wow, I’m hungry!

          For me, core values tend to fall into two categories: what I expect from myself and what I expect from others. My core values define me and help me make decisions. I am more lenient with others when it comes to core values and hold myself to a higher standard. For example, as I mentioned, integrity is very important to me. I have found over the years, that when I allow my integrity to take a back seat, I lose myself. If I allow others to bully me and tell me I am not wonderful exactly how I am, I am no longer being Lee. My integrity insists on 100% Lee-ness 100% of the time. My integrity gets me out of bed in the morning and makes me say things like last Friday’s post. As Wanda Sykes says, ‘Imma be me!’

          Now you need to put on your miners hat and start getting clear what is important for you. What are your priorities? What drives you? When these core values come into focus, then you become clearer as to what you want and won’t accept in your life. Now get to work while I go make a sandwich.

          Paul says: Luckily, Lee and I share bacon as a core value along with loyalty, honesty, integrity and a general distain for stupidity. Now, Lee likes her bacon crispy whereas I like mine soft and chewy. That difference is one of opinion and does not change the core of ‘must love bacon’.

          Food stuffs aside, Lee’s value of maintaining her Lee-ness is one of the things that I fell in love with. Since honesty and loyalty are core values for me, I need to know where I stand at any given moment. I need to know that Lee has got my back, both physically and emotionally. When she is in her Lee-ness, I get that value affirmed.

          There is more to come this week on core values. It is a big topic. I suggest that you make a sandwich like we are. I’m thinking BLT.

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