The Codes We Live By are Stronger Than the Tattoos Inked on our Bodies

I don’t have any tattoo but I know someone who has a body full of them. One thing he noticed is that over time those inked from a passion like homage to a girl friend or a defiant statement to society in general have less and less relevant meaning to him. Those born of experience like the ones representing an accomplishment or those representing codes he lives by, he said have gained more relevant meaning through the years. In humor he added that he is thinking about getting a massive tattoo of a compass with needles pointing to those tattoos which sustain meaning for him. He can use them as guides.

He is fortunate in that he wears constant reminders of the codes he lives by. Okay, they might be in tattoo form but he has his reminders constantly with him, loudly emblazoned on his body.

Many of us don’t have tattoos. So, how are we reminding ourselves of the codes we live by? For me, they are present in my day to day life. I reach for them when I am in a client meeting, when I have to think about how to deal with crucial or sensitive topics or when I am dealing with emotional consequences with those I know.

Why should we listen to our codes? They are our inner guides. They represent out version of a true north on our compass guiding us through the forests of life.

What are the ingredients to the codes each of us live by? They are represented by our values, principles, beliefs the sense of what is right on the inside partnered with strengths, talents, skills and expressions on the outside.

Parker Palmer, in his book: A Hidden Wholeness said this, when talking about the fundamental importance to living your life from your code: How can I affirm another’s identity when I deny my own? How can I trust another’s integrity when I defy my own? A fault line runs down the middle of my life and whenever it cracks open-divorcing my words and actions from the truth I hold within-things around me get shaky and start to fall apart.”  

Our codes are our center, like true north is for a needle on a compass. When applied to a family they represent the center of that family’s reason for being. We will look at how families introduce and integrate these codes to their existing family dynamics and culture.

Leave a comment and tell me how you track and use your code. How does it benefit your life to do so?