Yesterday afternoon my teenage daughter and I had a conversation—prompted by comments made by a couple of her friends—about how it's important for us to find our worth within us rather than to rely on our perceptions of how others value us. (She totally got it!)
Later in the day, finding myself becoming increasingly crabby, I almost immediately identified the source of my irritation and that I wasn't hearing my own advice. I recognized that I was allowing situations in my life to diminish my own sense of inner worth. I was marking my personal challenges and disappointments with a bold FAILURE stamp.
I knew I had the power to turn my destructive thoughts around, both for myself and also to exemplify, in the future, how my daughter can do the same. The solution for me is an exercise I call "True and Also True." It's something I learned in Martha Beck's book Finding Your Own North Star and also in the course TeachNow, presented by Jennifer Louden and Michele Lisenbury Christensen.
- I make two columns (as pictured above) labeled "true" and "also true."
- In the "true" column, I list five negative truths that are weighing on me. (Yesterday, one negative truth was that my girls chose to spend their time on independent projects rather than with me.)
- On the "also true" side, I consider the flip side and write an equally true, more positive aspect of that same situation. (A positive facet of independent time was that I went by myself to the library and found a few books I might not have if my attention had been more focused on my daughters.)
For me, just thinking about preparing this True and Also True list helped me begin to redistribute the value of the challenges and disappointments that had been weighing me down. This exercise helps me notice the yin-yangness ubiquitous in life. Considering what's true and also true clarifies, in a way, the grayness of life as opposed to the black-and-whiteness of situations and experiences.
Give the True and Also True exercise a try and let me know how it works for you. Are there other techniques that allow you to see multiple facets of situations? You're invited to share your experiences in a comment below, in our community Facebook page or via twitter.
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