Archive for November, 2010

On Control, Core Values and Hidden Motives

I’m very grateful to Teri Murphy for conversation we’re having right now about the role of core values in how we see ourselves, each other, and the world – and in how we express ourselves.

She’s given me permission to post a question she asked me, and my response, in hopes that it might serve others.

You’ll find it, below.

Thank you again, Teri, I’m so deeply cherishing this dance with you.

In deep gratitude,


On Nov 21, 5:45 pm, “Teri Murphy” wrote:

> As I’ve been watching this communication process unfold, I am intrigued
> but perplexed about the role of stating one’s core value as a part of
> it.
> So often we all use one value as a cover for another that is repressed
> or more self serving. So for example, I did not include in my list of
> reasons for liking the current arrangement that I value control or
> cachet. I believe I have considered the extent to which these may be
> influencing my perception of the situation. But how can you succeed by
> offering a strategy which addresses the face values which may be only a
> minor part of actual motivation?
> Curiously,
> Teri

Reading your question, Teri, what surfaces in me are 2 distinctions:

1. Strategies versus *core* values (and a question that helps reveal
core truths)
2. The multiplicity of living, breathing needs (core values)

First, strategy versus core values.

When I hear someone say, “I want control,” I know they’re talking
about a strategy, not a core value.  How?  First, I realize that when
we want control, it’s TOWARD something else.  What do we want control
toward?  Creating our joy?  Protection?  Space to self-express?  We
want control as a means FOR something else = it’s a strategy.

To help me understand the core value behind a strategy, I might ask,
“If you/I/he/she got that, what might it give you/me/him/her?”

Money is another example.  I “value” money.  But it’s not a universal
CORE value.  What do I want money for?  If I got money, what would
that give me?  For one, I like the freedom and choice money gives me.
I also like how money lets me express and enjoy my joys.  So freedom,
choice and expressing my joy – these are my CORE values.

Mind you, it’s true that most of us are not taught to be consciously
aware of our or others’ core values…more on that in a moment…

And, it’s also true that sometimes one core value is a strategy for
another core value – here’s an example:

Let’s say I decide I want control so that I can have and live my
freedom.  What will that freedom give me?  Hmm.  When I look, I
realize that this freedom gives me a sense of power to be at choice.
If I got that choice, what would *that* bring me?  Hrm.  I see that
having choice, I’d get to live my bliss.  Aha, so my core value is
living my bliss.  Now when I ask myself again, “If I got to live my
deepest bliss, what would that bring me?”  I
get …stillness…silence…and utter equanimity, calm and peace.
This is how I know I’ve reached my core value.

In my opinion, one skill in Self-Line development is “personal
responsibility”, including being able to answer the question, “What is
my *core* value?  What are my soul/heart’s deepest motives here?”

In any case, as our culture gets increasingly more awake, conscious,
and en-lightened, the nature of the light of a core values
conversation is that it reveals shadow and it reveals truth.  Next
comes personal responsibility and our ability to respond to each
other.  But that’s another convo.

Next, let’s talk about the complexity of being alive.

1. CV’s rooted in shadow – Some core values can be stimulated by
unhealed residual pain, the voice of our divine Spark asking for
resolution so that our fullest Light can shine more brightly. For
example: if a woman were raped, she may have a high, high, highly
screaming need for space and self-protection.  These are core values,
but in this case the core values are “up” because of shadow – because
of unhealed pain / residual trauma – the system is begging for release
and healing. I can often tell when a core value is rooted in shadow
when it has a tone of demand, urgency, or emotional charge.

2.  Some core values are free of personality shadow, and are simply
pure expressions of Grace emerging through the body mind. I can often
tell when a core value is rooted in Grace when it is clear, simple,
and free of emotional charge – it has a power and a stillness that is

So awareness and conversation rooted in core values both helps reveal
our Divine nature and also helps reveal opportunities for healing.
In either case, it’s Divine.

3.  We all have multiple sets of needs going on all at once (core
values).  Some may be louder right now than others.  But you can see
that you have a “multiplistic inner community” if you’ve ever had an
inner conflict.  “Go to work and meet my needs for security, or stay
home and meet my needs for rest?”  This is two sets of core values.

Most of us are taught, and embody, power-OVER.  “Forget work, I’m
staying home today.” (Powering the need for rest over the need for
security.)  Bosses tell employees, “Do it or I’ll find someone who
will.”  Parents do it.  “Get dressed NOW because I told you to.”
Corporations do it, “Our profit and bottom line – the cost to the
environment or employees is not our problem.”  Few of us are ever
taught the kind of love that says, “All needs MATTER and get attended
to.  Period.”

Most of us are not ever taught the A+B of both/and…the A+B of being
able to hold both sets of needs equal and relentlessly attend to
BOTH.  One way I like embody this A+B (power WITH) is in this
question:  How can we A in a way that also B?  How can we B in a way
that also A?   How can I give myself security while also caring for my
needs for rest?  How can I rest today in a way that also cares for my
sense of security?

If we were never taught power-with, how do we EVER learn to
consciously get *awake* to our core values (needs)?  If we can’t do
power-WITH within ourselves, how can we EVER do it with others,
authentically and with our true hearts?

How do we ever learn to relentlessly attend to ALL needs, including
those in the multiplistic inner community of other?

Do some people around me have core values I know they’re not conscious
of?  Sure.  So I do my best to reflect them and help surface them

Do some people state one “value” while really holding another set of
values unspoken?  Sure.  But when actions and words don’t match, this
becomes self-evident.  It’s also far less likely that people will
“manipulate” situations (say one thing while meaning something else)
when they experience the fact that they don’t HAVE to manipulate
anything to get their needs included and cared for; as long as they
are IN the conversation they WILL get their needs attended to.

Do some people speak to one core value or need while a whole pile of
them are part of their humanity?  Sure!  But so long as the core
values are all being attended to, they won’t scream for attention.  If
a core value starts screaming for attention in the form of emotional
upset, and if we uncover the need giving rise to the emotion and care
for that core need, life solves itself.

I hope this adds something to the “core values” salad that will help

Deeply Grateful

I’m deeply grateful to Teri Murphy for her appreciation of my work:

To be trusted to support folks wanting radical freedom and ease is so precious to me…I’m so moved just to have been *able* to support this conversation…



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