We were recently bombarded with messages about these “unprecedented times” that we are in and many of us are confused about what to do and what not to do. We have been overwhelmed with fear, anxiety, and many other overpowering emotions. Unfortunately, our core values were often neglected. In some cases, we may not really know what those core values are.
If we were a business, it would be called our “mission statement.” You can also think of it in the terms used in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) created by Marsha Linehan as a “Life worth living”. Things to consider in formulating your plan for your “Life worth living” is the ideal that YOU plan your path. You can choose what are the important values that will give your life direction. They will help you on your path to fulfillment.
What are some typical things people consider when figuring out what creates a “life worth living” or core values? Do they include:
- Citizenship, Social Responsibility, Community Life
- Inner Harmony
- Wealth/ Financial Security
- Friends, Social Life
- Self-care, exercise, meditation, mindfulness, health eating, etc.
- Spirituality and Religion
- Adventure, Recreation, Fun
- Romantic relationships, including life partners, marriage, dating, etc.
- Education, Formal and informal and training
After you figure out your top three or four values, start getting more specific. Break it down to what is important about that value. For example, if it is parenting, is it a relationship with a specific child? Then break it down further and come up with specific “bullet points”. These will be your initial steps toward your “life worth living”. Make it happen on a daily or weekly basis. The obtainable points can be items such as, read a bedtime story, have a special lunch, send a positive text etc., It is important to make them small, reachable steps. This list can keep you plugged into the direction that matters in your life, it allows you to avoid getting distracted by the many things going on in the world and allow your values to move you forward.
Cathryn E. Knezevich, M.Ed., LPCC
Therapist and Director DBT Mental Health IOP
The Behavioral Wellness Group