What are Your Core Values: Why do You Value Them?

What do I mean by core values, well that’s simple?  What motivates you to be who and what you are, what you value in life, yourself, and others.  These are your core values.  I questioned myself recently when asked this question in the focus group I participate in.  We did an exercise where one of the objectives was to list at least three of your core values.  I had no problem listing my core values or what’s important to me, but after listing those values, I questioned why these specific values meant so much?  What prompted these specific responses from me was a query I needed to investigate.  Everything in life should elicit deeper thoughts in our minds when we question why we are the way we are, and these questions should provide insight into our mental psyche.  We need only ask the question and then strive to understand and learn from the answers we discover.

My core values, well two of them, are honesty and loyalty.  These are the top two values that sprang to mind when asked this question.  I asked myself why these two values held more weight than any of the others I provided.  I looked at where I’m at in life now compared to where I came from, and it was as clear as a bell to me why these two values hold the weight they do.  Honesty is important to me because I’ve lied to more than once in my life, and lied to in situations that could have been life-threatening.  This impacted my personality and approach to life so much so, that I value honesty more than I value love or connections with others.  For me, honesty leads to later, love, and connection.  If I cannot trust someone, to be honest with me, then I cannot have a relationship with them; no matter the type of relationship.  I understand being sensitive to other’s feelings, but I’d rather have brutal honesty than lies or misconceptions.  The second value I believe in his loyalty.  I can’t begin to tell you how many times this trait escapes people.  Loyalty is my core value because of the deep compassion I have for others.  I believe loyalty and honesty go hand in hand; to uphold the promise of not forsaking those you genuinely care for in their good and bad times.  Lack of loyalty from others is just as bad as lying to me because it lacks commitment and love; it is a great betrayal and will end my relationship with those in my inner circle.  Don’t betray my trust and we’ll never have any problems.

On a deeper level, these values are residues from my challenging childhood.  In some way, I’ve endured lack of honesty and loyalty from those that were supposed to care for and protect me.  So I pose this question to you, what are your core values and why do you value them?  I implore you to really take the time out to answer this question for yourself, you might learn something about yourself that will allow you to develop and nurture those interpersonal relationships we all strive to have and maintain.  The best lessons in life are the questions we ask ourselves and then answer.  We grow from our inhibitions, so don’t be afraid to question your reality…

Please Follow and Like – Comments welcomed!

© CV Davis – Author

Control Your Stress, Don’t Let Your Stress Control You!

I don’t profess to be an expert; in fact, I’d say I’m the world’s biggest procrastinator.  Just ask anybody that knows me, and they will tell you, undoubtedly, that I will almost always wait until the last minute to do things.  Now for most people, this would completely stress them out, but for me, it’s how I function best.  I need a level of anxiety to produce my best work.  I’m not saying this is how everyone should be, but as my grandma used to say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  One has to identify their stressors when battling stress.  There is a multitude of things that stress people out for any number of reasons, like being late, running late, being in a new situation, deadlines or family… As you can see the list can be endless.  Endless but not hopeless, which is the message I’m trying to convey.

As stated previously, you must identify your stressors.  Developing coping mechanisms will help you manage that stress.  Let’s take my oldest daughter, who is a lot like me, she will wait until hell freezes and unthaws again before she starts a project or paper that is due.  She typically calls me on the verge of tears trying to figure out how she will complete her assignment.  I usually fuss at her for not doing the assignment sooner (if this isn’t the skillet calling the kettle black), but then I talk her off the ledge.  What I’ve found over the years is that my daughter functions like me, she needs that anxiety and tension to do her best work, so waiting until the last minute to do things builds the necessary pressure to produce awesome results.  To help my daughter, as well as myself, deal with deadline stress, we need to be able to vent and bounce ideas off someone that is objective.  Once we receive that feedback, we can continue with the assignment and complete it on time.  Yes, we complain about how stressed out we are and how we don’t believe we’ll ever finish or if it will be any good, but low-and-behold, she typically gets A’s and I did, as well, when I was in college.  We know how to manage our deadline stress.  We respect the process and we work within its parameters.

Now for those individuals that are, unlike me or my daughter, you may find that stress sneaks up on you when things are out of order.  Call it compulsive, but order equals happiness to you.  If you are this type of person then you would do well to always organize your stressors, but keep in mind that being open to change will also help reduce your stress.  Individuals with this tendency tend to be rigid in thought and process.  Learn to loosen up and don’t sweat the small stuff.  Most things don’t fit into neat little packages, so being able to be flexible and amiable will help you feel less stressed when put into a typically stressful situation.  For instance, you sleep through your alarm, and you need to be out the door at a certain time.  If you are the obsessive-compulsive type you tend to be, you probably add a cushion in your time calculation anyway, so you’re okay.  Take a deep breath and complete your morning routine as usual, what you will find, is time slows for you and you still have your time-cushion.  Like I said, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Now for my manics that run around like a chicken with its head cut off, slow down, smell the flowers, catch your breath, and just freakin’ breath you roadrunner on speed.  What I’ve noticed in manics (like my boss) they need equalizers around them, people that don’t get panicked because they’re panicked.  I am that equalizer for my boss.   I force him to calm down, speak slower and clearer so I can best assist him with his latest dilemma, which is typically not that bad.  Manics create their own stress in their minds by telling themselves it’s a life or death matter.  The reality is, there is time, you just have to slow down long enough to see it.  So to manage your self-inflicted stress, take a beat and breath a few deep breaths, and you’ll find that you will get what you want exactly when you need it, if not sooner than you need it.

For other stress factors, put workable systems in place.  If you find that you are always running behind schedule or are always late, learn to do most of your morning routine at night, i.e. shower, get your clothes ready before bed, prep your lunch, set the timer on the coffee pot, and give yourself a decent cushion in the morning, so if things do get a bit side-tracked, you won’t flip-out and need a Valium to get through the day.

Family stress will always exist, but for people that get stressed by family, it’s usually because you want to solve all their problems.  Sometimes all they really need is a sympathetic ear or a shoulder to cry on.  Be that type of support system.  Stop trying to live their lives for them and make decisions for them.  They will learn to stand on their own two feet and you will need to learn to let them.  A bird cannot leave the nest unless the mother bird pushes them out into the world.  Cut those damn apron strings!  If you establish boundaries and learn the difference between helping and enabling, you’ll see that a good listening ear or strong shoulder will be all the help they need.

Stress is stress, is stress.  You can control, manage, and reduce your stressors if you identify them and learn to work them instead of them working you.  The bottom line is you can choose to be stress-free anytime you decide to put your mind to it, make a conscious decision to live a happier stress-free life so you can live to a ripe old age.  Stress kills and you’re the cure!

(If this post helps you, please like and please follow.  I can sometimes come up with good stuff! 🙂

© CV Davis – Author

Shouts Out and Thank Yous!!!

I just wanted to say thank you to all of you that are following my blog and liking my posts.  It’s much appreciated.  I didn’t post anything today, back to work and all, but I promise to get something posted soon!  Until then…

Peace, locs and hair grease!

IBBYL

© CV Davis – Author

A Parent’s Greatest Reward

When my oldest daughter was in her senior year in college she called me to help her assist with interviews for a school project.  First and foremost, I was proud that she felt I had something important to say, and secondly, I was thrilled she showed interest in my life.  The subject matter dealt with sexual abuse in adolescents.  She grew up knowing my experience with sexual abuse because I always shared this information with her, in hopes she would never experience this herself, and for the most part, it was kinda true.  But I digress.

The thing I will remember from this interaction was her comment to me that she was proud of me as a parent and admired me as a Black woman.  The reason she felt this way was that I raised her and her sister (for the most part, as a single-parent), worked multiple jobs at one time, put myself through college as a returning adult student, paid our bills, feed, clothed and housed them.  She simply did not know how I was able to do all this, alone, with children and constant responsibility.  I believe her comment to me was, “Mom, I don’t know how you did all you did because I can barely go to school without losing my mind, and you did all you did while raising me and Z.”  Z is my youngest daughter’s nick-name. When she said those words to me, I knew she finally got it.  That being a parent is about being able to raise a child into adulthood, so that they are stable and a contributing member in society.  That that child will one day grow up and be a vital part of this world.  It was at this moment that I knew I was successful as a parent.  This interaction with her was all the proof I needed that I’d done a good job with her.  It was not always easy and we fought a lot during her teenage years about teenager versus parent things, but we survived.

I am proud to say, not only did she finish her undergrad work and earn her B.S. but she is currently a second-year graduate student, at Howard University, working on her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology.  The best part is when she’s done; I can probably get free therapy, or at the very least be her top case study!

Dedicated to my babies who helped raise me into the woman I am today — Muwah!

© CV Davis – Author

Down South: A Few of My Grandmother’s Favorite Sayings (R.I.P.)

This list will grow over time as I remember more of some of the funniest things my grandmother ever said to me as I was growing up.  It’s a wonder I didn’t need therapy.  Oh wait, I did need therapy, scratch that…  Here are some sayings and expressions she used that make me laugh when I remember them…

  1. Ima bust your head down to the white meat!

Meaning: whatever you’re doing, you had better stop or it’s gonna get real bad real quick up in here.

  1. I will beat the black off you if you don’t stop!

Meaning: you are seconds away from a whooping.

  1. I brought you into this world, I will take you out!

Meaning: you are in real trouble and are being threatened with instant death.

  1. I will knock you into the middle of next week!

Meaning: again another whooping threat.

  1. This world is going to hell in a hand-basket!

Meaning: I have no idea, but it must’ve been serious.  And what the hell is a hand-basket anyway?

  1. You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

Meaning: be nice, it will usually get you what you want.

  1. Always wear clean underwear because you never know what will happen to you when leaving out the door.

Meaning: it would be embarrassing if you are caught in dirty underclothes in an emergency situation.

  1. You don’t believe fat meat is greasy.

Meaning: you’ve been told to stop something and been threatened with a spanking, but you keep doing it anyway, so she is going to carry out her threat of a whooping.

  1. History is his story, so don’t believe everything you read.

Meaning: African-American history is an under-told story and for some reason, our story doesn’t make the textbooks in schools, so learn and know your history.

10.  The devil is a liar.

Meaning: someone isn’t being completely honest or something was promised by God and it is being threatened not to come true.

11.  You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink.

Meaning: you can’t make someone do something they have no true intentions of doing

12.   You don’t miss the water until the well runs dry.

Meaning: you have used up all your apologies and/or free passes and you are now cut-off.

Well, I think that’s enough for now.  Until next time.

IBBYL

© CV Davis – Author

Playing the Hand Life Dealt You

As an adult, you may blame your upbringing and childhood for all your adult misfortunes, but the reality is you have control over the outcome of your adult life and circumstances.  Childhood ills may have shaped your persona but it is not responsible for the choices and paths you take in your adult life.  Let’s face it, after 18 can you really say your childhood fucked you up?  I am a true believer we make our own way and chose our own outcome.  Fate and destiny have little to say about it in the end.

For me, my childhood was less than ideal.  I lived most of my childhood in foster care.  I was molested more than once, raped once, I survived being abused and had little to no family support to get me to where I am today.  I could easily blame my childhood for my life circumstances and continued to amount to nothing if I’d let those life events be the reason.  However, I decided early in my life that I would only be a child for 18 years and grown for the rest of my life.

Even though at times, I felt I had no control over the problems I dealt with as a child, teenager, and young adult, I convinced myself that I would only have to deal with this shit until I was officially a grown woman.  It was this decision that had the most impact on my adult life.  My conscious efforts to make sure I would be a viable adult living an adult life, and responsible for my own outcome and situation was the only outcome I was willing to accept.  I say this to say, that we have to get over it and get on with our lives.  Stop blaming your parents, lovers, teachers, relatives for the poor decisions you’ve made as an adult.

I get so tired of hearing grown-ass people talking about how poorly their living conditions are, and how it’s someone else’s fault.  Stop blaming the world and start blaming the responsible party – yourself!  No one is forcing you to live a substandard life or make bad decisions about your finances or career.  We all have the same opportunities afforded to all humans.  We can go to school and get degrees, work towards promotions at work, create financial opportunities, and the list is endless.  If you can dream it, you can achieve it.  This is the promise given to all people.  The bottom line is, decided what you want to change in your life, then make a plan to achieve that goal.  It will be this conscious decision that will improve your life, and make you feel that your life is worth living.  So for some definite directions, do these things:

  1. Decide what you want
  2. Explain (in writing) why you want it
  3. Research others that have achieved your desired goal
  4. Make a plan to achieve that goal
  5. Stick to the plan you’ve devised
  6. Spend time visualizing yourself achieving that goal
  7. Mediate to lift your spirits while making strides toward that goal
  8. Make a short-term goal’s list (0 – 1 year)
  9. Make a long-term goal’s list (1 year – 5 years)

Do this for every desire you wish to accomplish.  It will help keep you focused and on track along the way.  And if you should happen to get side-tracked, you will have a written record of what you wanted and why you wanted it back when you made the decision to make a change in some area of your life.

I’m not saying it will be easy, but you have to start somewhere.  If you don’t make an effort to make your life better, then it will simply not get better.  Talking about it constantly will not set the wheels in motion.  As I like to say, “Be about it, don’t talk about it!” In other words, actions speak louder than words.  Actions cause reactions, so JUST DO IT!  I can most definitely guarantee you that if you put an ounce of effort into improving your life as you do into complaining about it, you will see positive results.  At first, these changes will be subtle, but then there will be that epiphany when you realize your life has changed and changed for the better!

In closing, if you are to play the hand you’ve been dealt with, then you have to be able to recognize the lessons you’ve learned from that hand.  What I mean is that for every experience we endure, as living breathing human-beings; there is a lesson in that specific experience.  It is our mission to determine what that lesson is and what it means to our lives.

As bad as my childhood and adolescence were, I would not change it for anything in the world.  It was these life experiences that made me the strong individual I am today.  It is what motivated me to make my life better, not just for me, but for my children I’d eventually have.  I can impart my life’s wisdom to them, explain to them the woes of certain decisions or situations, and have first-hand knowledge of what I’m talking about.

I know I cannot save them from every bad experience they will encounter, but I can be there to empathize with them, and help them understand the lesson learned from that experience.  I learned how to play the hand I was dealt.  I’ve made mistakes along the way, stumbled and fell, but the important thing is, I always got up and gave it another good ole college try.

The moral of this story is never to give up and never give in, and most of all never settle for what you believe is your fate and/or destiny just because your childhood sucked!  Get over it and get on with it!  Play the hand you were dealt and whoop life’s ass!

© CV Davis – Author

Mid-Life Dating

It’s kinda funny when you’re dating in your forties. This is the time in life when you’re supposed to be settled-down, paying a mortgage,  raising children, or putting them through college.  Nowhere in any of the fairy-tales I’ve read did they go like this:

In your mid-forties, you’ll be a single parent of one Ph.D. student
and one middle-schooler, looking and hoping for a loving relationship
with someone, you don’t want to murder in their sleep!

And you’ll live happily-ever-after.
The End!

I’m pretty sure if I’d read that story,  I’d have jumped off the nearest cliff, but as life would have it, I am a mid-life dater. What I’ve learned from this experience is that dating gets harder as you get older.  The prospects thin out, and the only potential mates work in your building, attend the same house of worship you do, frequent the same grocers, or you come across each other on some infamous dating site.  The whole process is like kissing frogs trying to find your prince charming.  The mid-Life Dating reality SUCKS!

So the question of the millennium is:  Is there really any luck in dating in your mid-forties?

My guess is you’ll havta kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince!

© CV Davis – Author

So I Think I Can Write… I’m Sure I Can…

I just read a blog about how to start writing and/or blogging.  What’s funny is that I knew all this information but buried it in the deepest depths of my brain. Now I’ve brought it to the surface and I have no choice but to write. What I write may not matter to most,  but it will help me help myself, and that’s why I write. I write because my demons are restless and annoying,  so to get them to leave me alone,  I’ll have to write their freedom. If nothing else,  for my peace of mind.  I could use a good night’s sleep!

I’ll be blogging you later (IBBYL)!

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© CV Davis – Author