Staff blog - Mark Tyson
posted by Rosie Ellingham
on 18th January 2021

So many of us are finding we have a little extra time on our hands at the moment.  And given that it’s the third lockdown in the space of 12 months, I don’t know about you but I have run out of things to do around the house, launching another Netflix bender doesn’t seem so attractive and even staying in touch with loved ones via Zoom is happening less often.  What are we to do?  Personally, I’m launching myself into a voyage of self-discovery.  It’s quite a few years since I read all those self-help books from the local library (many are available online for free these days), I’ve been on autopilot for a while now and so I’m probably due a look ‘under the hood’. 

I’ve started with a detailed look at my values and in particular where they have come from.  We have all grown up collecting and gathering the values and ideas that make up our personalities.  Some we have created organically from our own experiences.  Like how it feels when people are mean to us, and how it feels when we help someone in need.  Some helpful things came from our parents and school teachers: don’t eat yellow snow, don’t drink bleach and check in both directions before you cross the road. 

However, its likely we have also picked up some less helpful things along the way as well.  Ideas such as ‘big boys don’t cry’, how ‘ladies’ should and should not act, a whole world of gender stereotypes and societal ‘norms’ which govern how we ‘should’ act and how we ‘ought’ to feel.  Sometimes these imposed or implanted values clash with our own organic values.  What we know from experience clashes with what we have been told.  These internal conflicts can be really difficult to resolve on our own.  That’s when counselling comes in really handy.  And as counselling is still available online, now might be a really good time for some to take that step.  Check out if you are eligible for Yorkshire MESMAC’s counselling service here.  Or talk to your local Community Development Worker about other local options here.

For the rest of us having a good think about where our values came from and why we believe what we believe is always a useful thing to be doing.  How much of what we think comes from our own experience?  How much of us is really us?  And how much have we absorbed unchallenged from the rest of the world?  On reflection do we agree with the values we have been carrying around with us all this time?  Is it time to think differently?  Do you really think what you think you think?  Good luck.