Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010 @ 2:23:00 PM - Written by Doug Hignell -

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? After being married for 35 years I am finding that this last 12 to 18 months has been one of the most significant seasons of positive change in our marriage. With the Holy Spirit's guidance I have lightened up, learned to not take myself so seriously, laughed more and reduced my desire to control. Out of that amazing things have happened and our marriage has truly become a more nurturing environment.

Two recent events have helped to further accelerate these positive changes. The first was my officiating this summer at the wedding for our daughter Keri to a wonderful man, Steve, which I will elaborate on in next week's blog.

The second key event has been learning the difference between a "value judgment" and an "observation." This point was brought home while watching with my wife the personal testimony of Paul Young, author of The Shack on a DVD. Paul spoke about the difference between "value" and "observation." Because of childhood hurts when somebody would make a personal "observation" his natural tendency was to interpret it as a "value judgment" and become defensive and pull back, rather than seeing it as a neutral "observation."

As I watched I felt a tremendous rush of emotion and began to cry. I realized that I have the same tendency. For example Kaylinn might say something as simple as "Doug, you don't fully close the drawers in our house after you open them." I would hear "Doug, you can't get anything right even something as simple as closing drawers." Or if I came home after grocery shopping and she said "I don't see the milk that I asked you to pick up," I would hear "once again I have let my wife down; she is upset with me and thinks I am inept." My reactions would cause me to get defensive and pull back, or even worse lash back at her.

These days, before I rush to become defensive and pull back we openly discuss whether her comment is a "value judgment" or an "observation." In fact Kaylinn helps by signaling when her comments are simply an "observation." I now realize that almost all her comments are observations and very seldom does she make a "value judgment" about me. If she does we can then discuss it. This new insight has changed my daily life as I now watch for "value judgments" vs. "observations" and live life less defensively.

Great comments. I certainly need to think the same way both in giving and receiving "observations."
Jerry White @ 12:31:00 PM 11/23/2010

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