This is an unplanned post – skipping my next installment of the Confederate Flag/Bobby story for a moment – to take you through a quick jog to review a journey I’ve been on for a couple weeks. I hope, by doing so, it encourages you.
Without going into too many personal details, my life has gone through a dramatic change which was unplanned and somewhat from left field. It included lies or at least promises that never existed in order to “blind” me, and it included being told descriptions about myself that had not occurred, or at least did not occur in the way I was told they did. For two weeks, I have been assessing myself, my recent past, asking for honest feedback from various people, going through the last couple years with a fine tooth comb…….and during that process I began to take on the yolk of a person I didn’t know. There was the horrible person I was introduced to two weeks ago, and the person those who provided feedback and who I more recognized. As is most often the case in life, the truth is probably somewhere in between.
But here’s the thing – I just accepted the horrible definition of me that I was given two weeks ago. Even though it didn’t really resonate with me. Even if it didn’t really add up to my daily approach to life or the ethos I thought defined my existence. Like a baby elephant that is chained to a stick as it is trained to be in captivity, I was slowly accepting this definition of me. Had I stayed with that acceptance process, my theoretical trainer would have been able to remove the chain from my leg and I would not wander off.
Instead, I’ve turned to focusing on my personal strength and noting how my actions align with them. You too can do this by doing to VIA Character Survey and seeing your core strengths.
My goal is doing this was to seek alignment and my true identity and not let others define who I am. To note my behaviors that feed those characteristics, the evidence that feeds those characteristics, and also to build up aspects of my character that may need some attention. To better use my character strength to overcome challenges and to remind myself I HAVE STRENGTHS. This process has been a fruitful endeavor.
You all have strengths and I encourage you to take the quiz. I am sharing my top 5 here as part of my own exercise as well as to show you that when we focus on our STRENGTHS, great things happen!
- Love Valuing close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing & caring are reciprocated; being close to people. VIRTUE CATEGORY: HUMANITY
- Honesty Speaking the truth but more broadly presenting oneself in a genuine way and acting in a sincere way; being without pretense; taking responsibility for one’s feelings and actions.VIRTUE CATEGORY: COURAGE
- Humor Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side; making (not necessarily telling) jokes.VIRTUE CATEGORY: TRANSCENDENCE
- Social intelligence Being aware of the motives/feelings of others and oneself; knowing what to do to fit into different social situations; knowing what makes other people tick. VIRTUE CATEGORY: HUMANITY
- Bravery Not shrinking from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain; speaking up for what’s right even if there’s opposition; acting on convictions even if unpopular; includes physical bravery but is not limited to it.VIRTUE CATEGORY: COURAGE
And just for reference, my last place character, which I confirm should be there ha:
24, Prudence Being careful about one’s choices; not taking undue risks; not saying or doing things that might later be regretted. VIRTUE CATEGORY: TEMPERANCE
Do not allow others to define who you are by using your character to suggest you are horrible.
For those that personally know me, I’d love to hear if you think these make sense!