Archive for the ‘Core Value’ Category

Creating Value

Sunday, June 17th, 2018

Although we have an innate drive to create value, we have to make choices of who and what to value. A sunset has value if, and only if, you give it value — you invest energy and effort to fully perceive it, thus allowing you to appreciate it. While it does nothing for the sunset if you value it, valuing it does wonders for you. The moment of value creation makes you feel more vital, engaged, interested, appreciative — in short, more alive. Life means more to you at the instant you create value, just as it means less to you when you are not creating value. Most positive emotion, passion, meaning, purpose, and conviction come from creating value, and most emptiness, aggression, and depression result from failure to create value.

— Steven Stosny, Living and Loving After Betrayal, p. 57-58

[Photo: Waterside Inn, Chincoteague, Virginia, November 2017]

Our Vulnerabilities

Saturday, June 16th, 2018

We all have to show our vulnerabilities. We all have to learn that it is okay to be vulnerable and that no one is perfect. Friendships are often the best place to show this vulnerability. The next time you are with your friends, observe who is allowing their true selves to show, warts and all, and who is keeping the barriers up, presenting themselves and their lives as perfect. It may be you.

— Lorna Byrne, Love from Heaven, p. 56

The Worth of Our Emotions

Monday, June 11th, 2018

Honoring the worth of our emotions — no matter what they are or how little we or others understand them — is a skill that changes the entire tenor of our lives.

— Ken Page, Deeper Dating, p. 192

[Photo: Hug Point, Oregon, November 10, 2015]

High Value Investment

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

The experience of value gives a heightened sense of vitality — you feel more alive looking at a beautiful sunset, connecting to a loved one, knowing genuine compassion for another person, having a spiritual experience, appreciating something creative, committing to a cause, or identifying with a community. Valuing gives a greater sense of authenticity and often a greater sense of connection. High value investment gives meaning and purpose to life, with a stronger motivation to improve, create, build, appreciate, connect, or protect.

— Steven Stosny, Empowered Love, p. 82

[Photo: South Riding, Virginia, June 6, 2018]

Path to Greatness

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

We can measure the quality of our lives by the relationships of mutual inspiration we’ve cultivated. These are the relationships that allow us to trust life. They are the very foundation of joy. Without such inspiration, any love will wither. And without these relationships, we too will wither, reverting to smaller, more defensive and wounded versions of ourselves. Humans are a lot like rubber bands: we shrink to a small, comfortable size unless we’re held to greater expansion by forces outside our ourselves. Relationships of inspiration expand us to a size we could never achieve alone.

These relationships are not only the path to love; they are the path to our own greatness. Through them we can find a way past the fears and wounds that dwarf us. Popular psychology tells us that we can only love others if we love ourselves first. But the real truth is often the other way around: until we feel seen and loved in the places we’re most vulnerable (usually the places of our deepest gifts), few of us will ever be able to fully love ourselves. That’s the great boon of relationships of inspiration. We experience our loved one seeing into our very core — and valuing what he sees. In the wake of this experience comes a sense of bravery, an innate desire to share our gifts — not out of obligation but from a sense of joyful overflow. And that makes us into just the kind of person we are looking for — one who inspires others simply by being who she is.

— Ken Page, Deeper Dating, p. 90-91

[Photo: Rhein River, Germany, as seen from Burg Rheinstein, July 1997]

Overcoming with Deeper Values

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

The Adult brain is able to overcome intimate relationship dynamics by illuminating and adjusting for blind spots in our own behavior and using our partners’ reactions to us as rear- and side-view mirrors. The Adult brain is able to recognize dynamics and bring them into the open, where they shrink in relation to deeper values of compassion, kindness, and connection.

— Steven Stosny, Empowered Love, p. 80

[Photo: South Riding, Virginia, May 9, 2018]

Values and Stress

Sunday, May 6th, 2018

Since that first study, dozens of similar experiments have followed. It turns out that writing about your values is one of the most effective psychological interventions ever studied. In the short term, writing about personal values makes people feel more powerful, in control, proud, and strong. It also makes them feel more loving, connected, and empathetic toward others. It increases pain tolerance, enhances self-control, and reduces unhelpful rumination after a stressful experience.

In the long term, writing about values has been shown to boost GPAs, reduce doctor visits, improve mental health, and help with everything from weight loss to quitting smoking and reducing problem drinking. It helps people persevere in the face of discrimination and reduces self-handicapping. In many cases, these benefits are a result of a onetime mindset intervention. People who write about their values once, for ten minutes, show benefits months or even years later.

Why is this one small mindset intervention so powerful? Stanford psychologists Geoffrey Cohen and David Sherman analyzed over fifteen years’ worth of studies on this mindset intervention and concluded that the power of writing about values is in how it transforms how you think about stressful experiences and your ability to cope with them. When people are connected to their values, they are more likely to believe that they can improve their situation through effort and the support of others. That makes them more likely to take positive action and less likely to use avoidant coping strategies like procrastination or denial. They also are more likely to view the adversity they are going through as temporary, and less likely to think that the problem reveals something unalterably screwed up about themselves or their lives.

Over time, this new mindset builds on itself, and people begin to see themselves as the kind of person who overcomes difficulties. Cohen and Sherman call this a “narrative of personal adequacy.” In other words, when you reflect on your values, the story you tell yourself about stress shifts. You see yourself as strong and able to grow from adversity. You become more likely to approach challenges than to avoid them. And you are better able to see the meaning in difficult circumstances.

— Kelly McGonigal, The Upside of Stress, p. 70-71

[Photo: Stirling Castle, Scotland, July 2003]


Sunday, April 29th, 2018

It’s hard to like someone who doesn’t return the favor. In order to rejoice in the Lord, it helps to know that He also rejoices in us. More than just rejoicing, He delights in us. Delight is a good, honest word that circumvents any phony spiritualizing of the word rejoice. If we rejoice in the Lord for theological reasons rather than with frank warm-heartedness, we’ll presume that He’s the same way — rejoicing in His people out of covenantal obligation, while in His heart barely able to tolerate our waywardness. How absurd! When the Bible says “The Lord takes delight in his people,” we should picture a big, sloppy smile on God’s face and fireworks going off around His throne — all for you and me!

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 61

[Photo: South Riding, Virginia, April 29, 2018]

Spreading Good

Saturday, April 28th, 2018

I value you — a thought to yourself but directed at others — is one of the most powerful statements you can make. In the long run, your contribution to the Web of Emotion will improve family life and help build communities. You will soar above as you make the world a better place. Every area of your life will improve if you wake up each morning thinking, I will spread good in the world today.

— Steven Stosny, Soar Above, p. 2018

[Photo: South Riding, Virginia, April 6, 2018]

Positive Function of Pain

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

Emotional pain serves the same positive function as its physical counterpart. Feeling disregarded, guilty, devalued, or unlovable prompts you to raise self-regard, compensate for any bad behavior, increase your competence, and be more loving. If you do those things, or merely think about doing them, the pain subsides. If you don’t, it gets worse and worse until it goes numb. I’m not saying that you have to increase loving behavior toward the partner who betrayed you; that would be too risky in the early part of your recovery. To relieve the pain of feeling unlovable, try to be more loving toward your children or parents or friends, or anyone whom you can love with minimal risk.

If you want to exploit the motivational advantage of emotional pain, you cannot view painful memories as punishments inflicted by others or as self-punishments for past mistakes. They are not punishments to be avoided; they are motivations to heal, improve, repair, and grow.

— Steven Stosny, Living and Loving After Betrayal, p. 20-21

[Photo: Keukenhof, Holland, April 17, 2004]