This I Believe

Shelton - Hurst, Texas
Entered on February 28, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

The Dance of life – Values & Beliefs

Relationships today as in the past have always been precarious waters for both men and women to navigate. They can be an intricate dance ranging from a close smooth slow dance to a fast paced tango, to sometimes, dancing on the floor solo.

In my own dancing experiences of life and watching others dance from experts to novices each stumbling their way thru the song. I’ve seen them finally learning to move together in unison with out too much stepping on toes and managing to keep up with the music and rhythm of life.

I have discovered what I believe is one of the chief reason why the music dies, and the dance becomes a slow grind and tug of war late into the night that finds both parties longing for the last note of the song. The principle I discovered is simply this. It’s is what I call my “Values and Beliefs” principle.

The “Values and Beliefs” principle states this. People have what I will call “things they value and things they believe in” any time what you value is in conflict with what you believe in, what you value will when out every time, over time.

To illustrate this point take for example a couple who decides to get married. They love each other and believe marriage is honorable and it is till death do us part “Two or three years into the marriage. The husband comes home to his wife and new born and says “

‘Honey I’ve been thinking”, I think it would be in the best interest of the family if you quit your job and stayed home to take care of our little bundle of joy full time. The wife is taken aback by this and is silent. She has her degree and has worked hard for it. She was looking forward to continuing to advance in her career and express the rest of her talents. The tension has set in. She believes in the marriage and loves her husband and baby, but she values who she is and what she has accomplished via her education through much thought drive and imagination. She may acquiesce and say yes but the tension is there .What she believes in and what she values are in conflict. As months turn into years, she begins to get more and more frustrated and disillusioned. She feels like she is losing a vital part of who she is and may soon grow hostile, passive aggressive, or sink into mild depression. After a while she may begin to make demands or ultimatums if the tension is not resolved. What she values will begin to exert pressure and she may want to abandon the marriage, she may feel unfulfilled or emotional abandoned by her husband. This may lead to a downward spiral of hopelessness and despair.

Because of this principle it is important to resolve the conflict as soon as possible. Over time what a person values will win out over time.

In the dance of life, it is important to truly understand the person you are committing to and what they truly “value” and what they believe in. This requires a lot of soul searching and being honest with yourself and your partner. This can be a challenge also. We often do not know what we truly value until it is or taken from us. Sometimes what we truly value changes over time. Some values may spring up anew. We as partners may not agree with nor understand fully what or partner values, but we have to respect that and be willing to gain some level of appreciation for it. Usually asking a person what they value will only give you the tip of the iceberg. It takes time listening from the heart and observing to discover these things. You don’t have to get them all right away. But you do have to have some understanding of the major ones. They may be things you don’t agree with or feel you cannot support it. Some may be deal breakers for the relationship. But it is better to find out sooner rather than later.

It’s very important to listen to these lyrics in the songs of life. This will go a long way to making the dance of life lively and memorable one that will make both partners not want to leave the dance floor but dance long and slow well into the twilight of life.