VALUES | Orientation

What are my values? Who do I do this for? What do I say yes to / move towards?

VALUES | Orientation
Last updated 18 June 2024. Still drafting: Elaboration for each value.

What I value:

  1. Accessibility
  2. Interdependence
  3. Compassion
  4. Defiance, courage
  5. Play, imagination
  6. Wisdom towards liberation

"I cannot separate Islam from liberation. Truly living the values of Islam should require us to push for justice, to be anti-racist and to free ourselves and our communities from the false god of capitalism." — Nabihah Maqbool


"My values protect me and the people I care about"

  1. This page is the result of thinking for over a year about moments in my past that made me feel truly alive, and negotiating the themes and patterns in those moments with how I spend my time in the present.
  2. This is an ask of Heather Morgan's values-based integration exercise, which was highlighted and adapted by Devon Price in his 2022 book Unmasking Autism: Discovering The New Faces of Neurodiversity. Devon Price: "Exercises like these can really highlight the ways in which we’re 'throwing' time away meeting the expectations of neurotypical people in our lives, or just trying to conform to a vague idea of what we think society wants from us. As soon as we’re able to create a little distance between these implicit demands and our actual selves, saying 'no' gets a lot easier."
  3. The ideal result of this exercise is to help an Autistic person trust themselves more. Devon Price: "Stepping back and taking a look at my key memories and core values, I can see that I’m a dynamic, powerful, clear-headed person who is always growing, and who has risen up to defend the people and ideas that matter to me many times. I am so different from the inept, powerless, clueless, needy figure that I have always worried abled people might see me as. I’m also nothing like the frigid, passive intellectual I’ve often masked myself as. This exercise also made it painfully clear just how much my old, masked life blocked me and kept me dissatisfied. Alone in my apartment, socializing with no one, I had no room to inspire others or to express myself. I was so afraid of upsetting other people that I didn’t risk standing up for what I believed in and didn’t indulge in anything that gave me pleasure. It was my attempt at a neurotypical persona that failed me—the real me was a beautiful person who deserved so much more."

These are Devon Price's answers to the values-based integration exercise in the same book:

Value 1: Candor

What this value means to me: Honestly sharing how I feel and the way I see things. Sharing observations that might not be convenient, but which are true and important to hear. Being honest with myself about who I am, who I enjoy spending time with, and what I want out of life. Speaking out when I see someone being mistreated.

Value 2: Courage

What this value means to me: Trusting my intuition and being willing to take risks. Standing up for my beliefs even when they are unpopular. Enthusiastically, passionately saying “yes” to the things that I want, instead of searching for excuses to say “no.” Letting my emotions be loud and bold. Taking up space, and taking a huge, hungry bite out of life.

Value 3: Inspiration

What this value means to me: Observing the world around me, filling myself up with ideas, and sharing my thoughts and passions with the world. Listening to my own creative drive and bursts of insight. Being a light that can guide others, by empowering people to do what is best for themselves.

Value 4: Passion

What this value means to me: Giving myself the space to feel things deeply. Making time to be sad, angry, resentful, or joyous. No longer filtering emotions based on how others might receive them. Being unashamed of who I am, pursuing the things I desire that feel good, and letting myself leave the situations that distress me.

Devon pictures a shield that integrates those four values into a larger whole:

When I transitioned, I chose the name Devon in part because it means defender. When I was in the closet (about both my transness and my Autism) I used to be shrinking and defensive. My whole existence was an apology for who I really was. Now I draw strength from who I truly am, and I aim to be a shield for others: a steadfast, brave presence that confronts the world head-on, and tries to shelter those who need it. My values protect me and the people I care about. I used to believe that my mask protected me, but really it just weighed me down. Honoring my values does the exact opposite. It places my most Autistic traits front and center and lets them lead me into battle, rather than hiding them away. I am thankful now for the person I am, and I know others are thankful to know that person, too. And in the course of coming into an Autistic identity, I have met so many people who have gone along a similar path toward self-acceptance and openness, finally feeling free, integrated, and attuned to their values after years of a false, fear-driven performance. I want the same things for you.

Liy is a Southeast Asian Muslim knowledge worker and poet sharing their lifelong learning from the imperial periphery. If you're new here (hello!) or need a refresher, start here for house rules. Here I maintain curated lists as a love language for others. Now is my present-day context including from my 5-year old note system. Consider subscribing for free to login and leave comments— I write slowly and send out emails rarely. If you valued what I made, tell me over DM (if we know each other) or tip me with a message— that sends a clear signal of appreciation ✨