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Finding Your Happily Ever After

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Melinda Bridenstine

on 13 July 2016

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Transcript of Finding Your Happily Ever After

Finding Your Happily Forever After
ABCX Model
Reuben Hill published the ABCX model to show why families have different abilities to adjust to a crisis.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
How do you find your happily forever after?
Three Wolves
Elder Bruce C. Hafen of the Seventy taught there are three wolves that will repeatedly test every marriage.
A = Actual Event

Just as in the fairy tales, it is important to develop yourself to be the kind of person your Prince Charming or Cinderella would want to marry, someone who is kind and good and of good courage. You must also be patient and search for a true prince or princess. Elder Oaks taught the best way to avoid divorce from an unfaithful, abusive, or unsupportive spouse is to avoid marrying such a person. ("Divorce," Ensign, May 2007). We need to be careful and prayerful in our selection of a spouse. Elder Oaks encourages young adults to spend time dating and getting to know marriage prospects and see how they respond in different situation and also get know his or her family ("Divorce," Ensign, May 2007). It has been said that it is important to see how a young man treats his mother to know how he will treat his wife.
Elder Oaks said, “A good marriage does not require a perfect man or a perfect woman. It only requires a man and a woman committed to strive together toward perfection.” ("Divorce," Ensign, May 2007). So in looking for your Prince Charming or the girl of your dreams, do not think you must find a perfect man or woman because he or she does not exist.
Once you have found the one and are happily married, do not be surprised when the problems come--for they surely will. This life is meant to be a test to see if we are worthy to receive all that our Father has and be joint heirs with Him. No test would be complete without difficult challenges and trials to overcome.
The Family: A Proclamation to the World states, “We the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” (President Gordon B Hinkley, September 23, 1995).
The first wolf is natural adversity. Trials and challenges come to everyone and to every marriage. The challenges can be a bonding experience as the couple faces them together or they can tear them apart.
The second wolf is their own imperfections. Marriage consists of two imperfect people. Focusing on a spouse’s faults undermines not only the marriage relationship but the spouse’s self-esteem. Don’t seek to cast the moat out of your spouse’s eye when there is a beam in yours. Your spouse is quite aware of his or her failings and does not need you to point them out.
The third wolf is the excessive individual that is so much a part of our modern culture. Individualism encompasses the idea of “me”. It fosters selfishness and an entitlement attitude. It focuses on the your needs. It does not focus on loving another and sacrificing for the good of the family. Elder Hafen pointed out that in contract marriages, the spouses each give 50%, but in covenant marriages the spouses each give 100%. A successful happy marriage requires work, sacrifice, and determination on the part of both spouses. (Bruce C. Hafen, "Covenant Marriage," Ensign, Nov 1996, 26.)
B = Both Resources and Responses
C = Cognitions
X = The Total eXperience
Daily Mood Log Directions

Step 1. Upsetting Event
• At the top of the Daily Mood Log, write a brief description of one
moment when you were feeling upset.

Step 2. Emotions
• Circle all the words that describe how you feel.
• Rate each feeling on a scale from 0% (not at all) to 100% (extreme).

Step 3. Negative Thoughts
• List the negative thoughts that flow across your mind in the Negative
Thoughts column.
• Rate how strongly you believe each thought, from 0% (not at all) to 100% (completely).

Step 4. Distortions
• Record the distortion in each negative thought in the Distortions column.

Step 5. Positive Thoughts
• Generate more positive and realistic thoughts that will put the lie to the negative thoughts.
The Necessary Condition – The positive thought must be 100% true.
The Sufficient Condition – The positive thought must put the lie to
the negative thought.

• Indicate how strongly you believe each positive thought in the “%
Belief” column
• Re-rate your belief in the corresponding negative thought.
• Re-rate your feelings on a scale from 0% (not at all) to 100% (extreme).


Family Council Meeting
Elements of the council system as practiced by the presiding councils of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can also be used in family councils.


An agenda is provided to all members no later than the evening before the meeting.
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“Mindfulness is about being fully aware of whatever is happening in the present moment, without filters or the lens of judgment.” (Stahl, B., & Goldstein, E. (2010). A mindfulness-based stress reduction workbook. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publication, Inc. p 15.)
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When you become aware of your physical tension in a stressful situation, you have returned to the present moment and can take steps to calm your stress. You can focus on mindful breathing to return rapid, irregular breathing to normal. When your breathing returns to normal, other internal symptoms of stress such as heart rate and blood pressure, will gradually be regulated. Mindful breathing can be done anywhere, anytime.
Mindfulness helps us control our response. Viktor Frankl said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” (Frankl, V.,(1959),
Man's search for meaning, Cutchogue, NY.)
When you practice mindfulness, “you’re turning in to all of your senses, not for the purpose of relaxation but for the purpose of truly experience the present moment.”
(Stahl, B., & Goldstein, E. (2010). A mindfulness-based stress reduction workbook. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publication, Inc. p 33.)
Attitudes of Mindfulness
1. Beginners mind – see things as if for the first time with a sense of curiosity
2. Nonjudgment – taking note of thoughts, feelings, or sensations without labeling them good or bad
3. Acknowledgement – acknowledge things as they really are
4. Nonstriving – not trying to move away from whatever arises in the moment, no aversion to change
5. Equanimity – balance and wisdom, a deep understanding of the nature of change
6. Letting Be – let things be as they are
7. Self-reliance – see for yourself from your own experience what is true or untrue
8. Self-compassion – cultivate love for yourself as you are without self-blame or criticism
Mindfulness helps you to identify mind traps. Mind traps are thinking patterns that increase stress and distress. Once you identify your mind traps, you can avoid falling into them.
Catastrophizing – amplifies anxiety
Exaggerating the negative and discounting the positive
Mind reading – deciding what someone thinks and feels or why they acted a certain way without any evidence.
Being the eternal expert – “When being wrong isn’t an option, you’re continually on trial to defend your opinions and actions." (
(Stahl, B., & Goldstein, E. (2010). A mindfulness-based stress reduction workbook. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publication, Inc. p 55.)
Blaming – holding others responsible for your problems or holding yourself responsible for problems of others.
STOP – an informal way to use mindfulness to decrease stress and anxiety and bring the body and mind into balance.

S = Stop
T = Take a breath
O = Observe
P = Proceed

Negative interpretations – “What seems like a disaster might actually be a gift.”
(Stahl, B., & Goldstein, E. (2010). A mindfulness-based stress reduction workbook. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publication, Inc. p 56.)
Raising Resilient Children
1. Control: the ability to understand a social circumstance, draw appropriate inferences taking into account the context, select an adaptive strategy, and implement it.

Cinderella chose to be kind and courageous in spite of how she was treated and to have hope that things would get better.
2. Commitment: a set of values and beliefs that impart a sense of purpose.

Cinderella did not allow how others treated her to change her values of being kind and courageous or to keep her from becoming the best person that she could be.
3. Challenge: a response to stress such that a child feels motivated and capable in solving problems.

Cinderella rose above the challenge of being treated cruelly and unfairly and did not allow it to change the person she would become. She was kind and courageous in spite of how others treated her and the difficulties in her life.
Double ABCX Model
Cinderella's father dies and she is treated as a servant in her own house.
Cinderella finds friends and a support network in the animals.
Cinderella continued to have hope that things would change. She found joy in the little things each day.
Cinderella was kind and courageous. She became the girl the Prince would choose to marry.
The Typology Model
The brethren meet at a regular time each week.
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The brethren meet in a sacred location which is dedicated and protected from evil influences.
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Before beginning their discussion, they express love and appreciation for one another.
They open their discussion with prayer, inviting the Spirit of the Lord to facilitate discussion.
They discuss each item to consensus regarding the Lord’s will on the matter.
They end with prayer, thanking Him and dedicating their efforts to bring His purposes to pass.
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They share refreshments together.
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Three Elements of Hardiness
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity.
Resilient children "see life as challenging and ever changing, but they believe they can cope with those challenges and changes. They view mistakes and weaknesses as opportunities to learn". (Lyle J. Burrup, Raising Resilint Children, March 2013, Ensign.)
A factor = the stressful event or transition
V factor = family system vulnerabitly
T factor = family type
B factor = family resources
C factor = family appraisal of the seriousness of the stressor and the effect on the family.
PSC factor = the family's problem solving and coping skills
X factor = maladjustment or bonadjustment to the crisis
The "shoulds- "Shoulds involve having a list of unbreakable rules for yourself or others."
(Stahl, B., & Goldstein, E. (2010). A mindfulness-based stress reduction workbook. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publication, Inc. p 55.)
The Double ABCX Model looks at precrisis, crisis and post crisis.
aA = Pileup of stressors from the crisis.

Cinderella's father died and she became a servant in her own house. Her stepmother and step sisters treated her badly. The step sisters ripped her mother's dress to shreds. She was not allowed to go to the ball. The pileup of stressors resulting from her father's death was almost more than she could bear.



bB = Existing and New Resources

Cinderella had her mother's dress that she planned to wear to the ball (existing resource) but then her step-sisters destroyed it. One of Cinderella's resources was her kind heart. Because of her kindness her fairy godmother (new resource) appeared and turned her torn dress into a beautiful ball gown (new resource), a pumpkin (existing resource) into a coach (new resource), and the mice (her friends, existing resource) into horses (new resource).
cC = Perception of x + aA + bB

Cinderella was very distressed over the crisis and the pileup of stressors but then her fairy godmother (new resource) turned her existing resources into dazzling new resources. Cinderella was very grateful. She realized that even though things were bad, wishes still come true and she could have her happily ever after even as a humble, servant girl.
Coping - Cinderella had great coping skills. She was kind and courageous even though her situation was unfair and difficult. She had a positive, cheery attitude and believed that things would work out for her.
Adaptation - Cinderella did not allow her difficult situation to make her bitter or vindictive. She grew from the experience into a wonderful, kind and courage young woman and became the girl the prince chose to marry.
Cinderella had bonadaptation to the crisis in her life and the pileup of stressors and she lived happily ever after.
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A crucible is a furnace-like vessel that under intense heat purges away impurities and transfigures raw material into a purified, stronger substance.
The crucible is a metaphor for life-changing challenges, tribulations and adversities. In the scriptures, such experiences are referred to as the "refiner's fire." Crucible experiences have the power to change our lives and even our very natures.
The trials and mistreatment that Cinderella suffered acted as a crucible in her life which transformed her from a humble servant girl into a princess.

"Cinderella never asked for a prince. She asked for a night off and a dress."
(Kiera Cass on Amy Poehler's Smart Girls | Change the World by Being Yourself, smartgirlsattheparyt. tumblr.com)
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Spiritual Crucibles
"To be spiritually minded is to view and evaluate experiences in terms of the enlarged perspective of eternity. " ( Oaks, D. H. (1988). Spirituality. In The Pure Of Heart. (Ch 7) . Salt Lake City, UT:Bookcraft.)
The scriptures describe spirituality in terms of the heart such as "pure in heart" or "hardened his or her heart."
The story of Mary and Martha "reminds every Martha, male and female, that we should not be so occupied with what is routine and temporal that we fail to cherish those opportunities that are unique and spiritual."
( Oaks, D. H. (1988). Spirituality. In The Pure Of Heart. (Ch 7) . Salt Lake City, UT:Bookcraft.)
The Better Part by Simon Dewey
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While the Roman soldiers waited at the foot of the cross they cast lots for the property of Jesus while "one of the most supreme events in all eternity was taking place above their heads . . . their example reminds each of us that we should not be casting our lots for the things of the world while the things of eternity, including our families and the work of the Lord, suffer for lack of our attention. (
( Oaks, D. H. (1988). Spirituality. In The Pure Of Heart. (Ch 7) . Salt Lake City, UT:Bookcraft.)
The spirituality of a person is seen in the way they react to tragedies or misfortunes. "Seen with the perspective of eternity, a temporal set-back can be an opportunity to develop soul-power of eternal significance. Strength is forged in adversity. Faith is developed in a setting where we cannot see what lies ahead."
( Oaks, D. H. (1988). Spirituality. In The Pure Of Heart. (Ch 7) . Salt Lake City, UT:Bookcraft.)
Those who are spiritual minded will see others in a positive light rather than negatively. President Gordon B. Hinkley has urged "that each of us turn from the negativism that so permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate" (Ensign, April 1986, p. 4).
We seek spirituality through:

faith
repentance
baptism
forgiveness of others
fasting
prayer
righteous desires
pure thoughts and actions
service to others
worship
feasting on the word of God
We attain spirituality through making and keeping covenants with the Lord, through conscientiously trying to keep all the commandments of God. Spirituality is not acquired suddenly. It is the consequence of a succession of right choices. It is the harvest of a righteous life."
( Oaks, D. H. (1988). Spirituality. In The Pure Of Heart. (Ch 7) . Salt Lake City, UT:Bookcraft.)
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Cognitive Behavior Therapy
involves identifying and changing destructive thought patterns (cognitions) that have a negative influence on behavior.
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After Cinderella's father dies, the family type is:
1) Regenerative typology = secure (low coherence and high hardiness)
2) Resilient typology = fragile (low flexibility and bonding)
3) Rhythmic typology = structuralized (high family time and routines and low valuing)
4) Traditionalistic typology = situational (low celebrations and traditions)
Cinderella's father dies leaving her to be raised by her step-mother.
Cinderella has lost her father. Her stepmother has lost her husband. The step-mother is jealous of the relationship Cinderella had with her father since he loved his daughter more. There is contention in the home. Financial resources are strained.
Financial resources are strained since the family does not have an income source and the step-mother buys lots of things for her daughters. Cinderella has a kind and good heart. She has animal friends. Later her fairy godmother comes.
Cinderella is positive and cheerful in spite of her trials and believes that wishes do come true and someday things will be better. The step-mother makes the best of the situation. The step-sisters whine and complain.
The step-mother is vindictive and makes Cinderella a servant in her own home. She believes she just needs to find her daughter's rich husbands and things will work out. Cinderella does not allow the unfair situation to make her bitter or vindictive. She believes wishes do come true and that things will get better. She is cheerful, kind, and courageous.
The family has maladaptation. They are contentious, angry, and vindictive. Cinderella has bonadaptation to the crisis in her life and the pileup of stressors and she lived happily ever after.
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