Creative recovery should be value driven. What does this mean?
It means that your creative efforts in recovery should ultimately be driven according to your values. What are our values?
Your values are anything that you hold to be valuable. For example, you might value your physical health.
Using a value system implies a system of judgment. We have to decide what is important to us and what we can let slide. There are only so many hours in a day so we have to decide where to concentrate our efforts. This is what makes values important. They help us to prioritize our actions so that we can live more effectively.
Using values to guide you in recovery
If you’ve made it this far in recovery, you’ve already made some value based decisions, such as the decision to get clean and sober. That is a choice that leans towards caring for yourself rather than continuing to self destruct with addictive behaviors. When you choose to stay clean, you’re valuing your self and your life very highly.
Take this a step further and see where these judgments of values take you. For example, many in recovery will eventually look at their smoking habit as something that is no longer in line with their values. They value their life but continue to engage in this destructive behavior, so their is a mismatch there. These misaligned values will continue to gnaw at the person until they take action to better align them…in other words, quit smoking so that they are caring for themselves more completely.
Or perhaps someone is badly out of shape but they are coming to value their health and longevity more and more as they build self esteem in recovery. Eventually this value of theirs will motivate them to take action and care for their body physically in the same way that they have cared for their self in other ways (spiritually, emotionally, etc.).
In another case, someone might value helping others in recovery very highly, and this will eventually dictate their actions. They might get involved with sponsoring others, or look into chairing meetings or even getting involved with life coaching.
So essentially you want to look at your value system and see what it is that you hold to be most important in your life. Your health? Your spirituality? Your relationships with family and friends? Your education? Your career? And so on.
Then ask yourself if you are truly living according to those values. If you value education very highly, are you really pushing yourself in the best way possible in alignment with that value? If you value spirituality, are you really focusing on the spiritual practices that are most important to you?
And most importantly: if you value your health and well being, are you really living the healthiest life for yourself? How can you grow holistically in order to bring your life into alignment with your values?