How does a part of who we are transcend value? Whether from life experience or monetary value, is it possible for things to be invaluable? I would suggest that it is. There are events, people, or situations in our lives that have such broad implications that their value cannot be calculated. Surprisingly, for some people, it could be a divorce, others it will be the college years, and still others might say it is their faith. It can just as easily be a life altering car accident, or an illness, for these events cut to the meaning of life.
Mine is coming out in my mid-forties, and the ensuing chaos I experienced afterwards. I was in my second marriage and had four daughters, and after what could easily be another book of life events, I looked in the mirror one morning and admitted to myself for the first time, that I was gay. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I was a very visible member of a conservative church in one of the most conservative parts of West Michigan. Over the next several months I watched my list of “friends” go from the hundreds to four, because all of them had been affiliated with my church. What I have realized is that being different or seen by some as undesirable can be an invaluable trait. I call it my truth serum for friendships. I’m betting you already realized that all but four of those church friends were not actual friends, and the truth serum flushed them out.
Do you know what parts of your life are beyond compromise when push comes to shove from outside demands? How often do you maintain their importance, or do you cave in and relent to the outside demands of the world?
We all have non-negotiables. They are invaluable lessons or people. We’ve usually adopted them because of personal experience and will not part with them willingly. Examine your collections of invaluable things. Metaphorically, take them out for a spin and explore how they affect you. Do they limit you or inhibit your happiness? Sometimes we can grow so attached to elements like these that we forget we are in control. Make conscious choices about the invaluable elements. This reminds me of a friend who collected valuable glassware, and he would display them in a special cabinet. This grew to become several cabinets. The cabinets became packed and crowded to the point that all I saw was junk stacked upon each other. Having lots of non-negotiables is not necessarily good. You decide, but maybe a house cleaning is in order.
This blog is part of a series from the book Discover Your Best Life by Mike Hintz. His personal, professional, and spiritual growth tools are also featured in Northlink Retreats. If this topic resonates with you consider reading the book or attending one of the upcoming Discover Your Best Life Retreats.