If you are a parent, the love you have for your children is immeasurable. The long sleepless nights rocking your baby or soothing your frightened or sick child are all worth it because you care and love.
There are times when you may not be willing to pay the price that love brings. One young man once told me he didn’t want to date or worse yet, get married, because he didn’t want to experience the pain of a breakup. “I’d rather be alone than experience the pain,” he said.
That’s understandable. No one wants to experience pain; yet in any relationship, the chances are pretty high that there will be emotional pain at some point. If he keeps that view of life, he will miss out on the joy that comes with struggles. What this young man didn’t realize was that emotional pain is part of life and that what matters most is what we do when we experience that pain.
The Value Coin
On one side of the coin (picture above), write at least five of the most important things in your life. On the other, write five of the current most painful internal experiences you are struggling with.
Once you have completed the lists, read them and take a closer look at each one. Compare the values list to the struggles list. Are there any struggles you are experiencing that have to do with what matters most to you?
Many individuals who complete this exercise discover a relationship between their struggles and their values. They realize that one side cannot exist without the other.
Has this happened for you? If so, what does it mean?
Of course, you don’t want to change what you care about most. What you want to change is how you view your struggles.
In “Let Go of Anxiety: Climb Life’s Mountains with Peace, Purpose, and Resilience,” you can learn skills that will help you see your challenges with a different mindset.
“If we can’t open up to loss, we can’t open up to love.”1
Steven C. Hayes
- Hayes, S. C., (2020, November). ACT in Practice: Applying ACT as a processed-based therapy. Praxis Continuing Education & Training. https://www.praxiscet.com/