Last week, we looked at situations that stir us. Lizzie Skurnick has a word that might describe your feelings regarding question 4.
Doubtrage: uncertainty about whether one should be mad
Perhaps your anger was triggered by one of the following.
Dramaneering: maintaining control by seeming to be in crisis
Deprescient: imagining the worst will happen
I can’t help it, I’m a word nerd J
This month, we’re sorting through our values and beliefs (positive and negative), so we can truly live with intention. You already have some ideals that inspire you, but we’re going deeper. We’re taking our time to use a process that will help you feel more vibrantly YOU. Together, we’ll discover and gain power over the beliefs that hold us back from fully living in line with our values. Today, let’s make our good list, the list that describes us at our best. Remember, this is not goal-setting. Living with intention may make goals easier to attain, but it’s about more than that. Intentional living is when your values and behavior are lived in sync, when your head, heart and hands pulse together with the unity of thought and passion and action. It’s a lovely place to be in any circumstance.
Let’s roll some words across our tongues. For this, I’ve borrowed part of a list from a terrific short course entitled “Truly Me,” by social worker and self-care coach Jennifer Owens. Which of the following words inspire longing or a sense of identity in you?
wisdom, mastery, vigilance, strength, grace,
clarity, success, enthusiasm, authority, independence,
warmth, courage, joy, home, belonging, community,
meaning, renewal, faith, acceptance, recovery
Did you pick anything from this list, or did the list make you think of words you like even better? In last week’s situations and today’s words, what common elements make you hum? In the people who most inspire you, or the life you daydream about, what consistent qualities do you see?
Now it’s time to make your own list. Pick a few words that resonate with you. Mine are:
Faith, Love, Acceptance, Wisdom, Giving, Balance
Based on the words you chose, think of a few values you’d like your life to reflect. You may not use all your words, or some of them may be woven throughout your value statements. You might even do this exercise backwards, as I did. I’m a bird’s-eye thinker—I start with the big picture and then close in on the details. I wrote my values first, then it was easy to identify words that fit.
Describe yourself living your chosen values, in present tense. Write them down, make a video or use the voice memo on your phone. Whatever you do, don’t let them simply flit across your mind as you move on to other tasks. You’ll want to revisit this list. It’s going to become your favorite picture of you.
Phrasing things in active, present-tense may feel like boasting or even lying, but your list is for you. Nobody else needs to see it, and it helps if we envision ourselves living up to our values. YOU are YOU—so your list may be different than mine, but I’ll put my list here to get you started. Some of these are pretty challenging for me, but I’m on top of the world when my actions reflect them.
Faith – God is my center: Life has the most meaning and trust is the most possible when my eyes are on God’s face and not His hands, and when I see life and others through His eyes. He carries me through eternity.
Love & Acceptance – I love unconditionally: I love and accept others no matter what they do, pre-forgiving because humans are flawed and God is my source.
Wisdom – I feel fearlessly: I am not afraid to feel emotion, and I have the power to examine my feelings without letting them rule my actions.
Wisdom & Acceptance – I analyze without judging: Pinpointing actions that could be done differently for better results, I also look for the reasons people do what they do and accept people as they are.
Faith & Wisdom – I reconcile human understanding with God’s behavior: Unable to deny the presence and involvement of a creative, loving God, and faced with the limits of the human lifespan and perspective, I attempt to expand my insight to make room for a very large God.
Love & Giving – I act in ways that improve the lives of others: Not content to live in the high realms of theo-philosophical contemplation, I help those in extreme circumstances, as well as those who are simply in need of a friend.
Wisdom & Balance – I maintain balance: My biggest challenge but still a core value, I work to accomplish personal goals, reach out to others, enjoy marriage and give myself the space to be healthy emotionally and physically. Helping others may be my primary motivator, but I recognize that I am unable to help anyone if I am out of balance.
Whew. I have to say, it’s uncomfortable to put them all out there in public, but I wanted to demonstrate the process. These are the things that, when I catch myself doing them, make me feel like my truest, best ME.
Now, make your list while it’s fresh in your mind. Carry your list with you this week. Look at it each morning and each evening. Without judging or abusing yourself, make note of the times your values really shone through and the times you went rogue and did not live up to one or more of them.
Next week, we’ll take it a step further.
Would you please post a comment below, sharing one of the values on your list?
If you’d like to do something that will make you feel like a superstar, sponsor a child through Compassion International. Pass your values on to a child who might otherwise live in hopelessness and failure.