630-484-2336 ben@bedo.org

If you’re down and confused
And you don’t remember who you’re talking to,
Concentration slips away
Cause you’re baby is so far away

Well there’s a rose in the fisted glove
And the eagle flies with the dove
And if you can’t be with the one you love honey
Love the one you’re with, Love the one you’re with,

Ok.  So this song was written by Stephen Stills back in 1970.  It’s a song about free love and… well, I guess infidelity is ok.

And that’s NOT what this piece is about.  But the title is so catchy, it seemed a shame to waste.  And in fact, with respect to Mr. Stills, while he may have been on to something for those times (they were a little different back then) we can actually look even deeper to how poignant and powerful this really is.


After all, there’s a common driving force that lies within most of us (I would possibly be so bold to say ALL of us, and I could easily back up this bold assumption, but that’s not the point of this piece.  So we’ll just leave it at most) and that is, we all are seeking connection.  Relationship.  Engagement.

Call it what you want—and yes, we sometimes enjoy being alone, and there’s value in that as well—but invariably we are drawn to being with another.

Throughout the ages many have attempted to identify why that is so.  What is it that we get from others that makes this connection and community so important?

So I’ll take a stab at it.

Let’s first acknowledge that everything is Energy.  In this case, I’m referring to our personal Energy of Spirit.  (Or coaches also can refer to this as BEing, but that’s a different conversation).

If you’re familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy, you may notice that we can also correspond those levels in terms of Energy and Spirit.  (By the way, there’s a whole lot of work on this in the MasterFull You Advanced Level 3/MCC coach training program at https://bedo.org/masterfull-you.)

Simply put, when we are in the Low Energy levels, it’s all about protection.  We seek out those who agree with us, make us right.  We seek others who can join our forces and help keep us safe.

Medium levels is where community and connection shift to a different experience and it’s all about how we can support each other.  We pursue validation and confirmation from those we in our circles.

But when we get to a higher level of energy, that connection we have with others is vibrant because we are engaged with our Values—those experiences and elements of life that we must have.  I’m not talking about the basics of survival—food, water, shelter—those are what’s required to keep our body alive, and that’s more tied to Low Level Energy.  And I’m not necessarily talking about the needs of community and connection with others, because that’s Mid-Level.  I’m talking about what our spirit requires to thrive.


This is what we experience when we truly love someone.  We love the other person because they are a connection and revealing of our own Values.  Makes sense, right?  I mean, look at someone you love.  I don’t care who you choose.  It could be a spouse, or someone you’re dating.  It could be a family or friend.  Not necessarily someone you’re attracted to, or that you like, but someone that you have a deep feeling of love to them.  And when you look more deeply at that love for that person, consider what is it about them that you love.  Why do you love them?  What part of you is activated, engaged, and inspired when you are with them?

What you’re identifying is the power that lies within that relationship.

When we are with that person we love, our Values are present and alive.

And when we even think about that person, and we feel all warm inside, it’s that memory and indirect activation of our own values.

Because our Values are our own personal language of love.

It’s as simple as that.


Ok, so that’s all the wonderfulness of relationship (the really delicious ones).  But there’s also a trap that comes along with this.

Let’s go back to the levels of energy.

That low level energy and being only processes in binary absolutes: black and white, good and bad, one or the other.  Therefore Low level relationships are either good or bad, or labeled as friend or enemy.  And therefore there are really no values going on here.  Which means it’s not sustainable or fulfilling.  It’s just maintaining at best.

While it’s true that the Mid-level energy is all about community and relationship, remember we are just inches away from low level of safety and protection from any bad relationship.  So in this level, we are relying on the other to give us what we need to feel safe.  And they also provide our fulfillment, in other words, our values.  Because when we are receiving or experiencing our values, then we transition from protect and defend, to open and engaging.

What makes it even more exciting and magical is that our values are our own personal language of love.  Therefore, if someone is connecting and feeding our values, then we are filled with love.

Now you may be saying to yourself, “Well, this sounds pretty good.  Where’s this trap you mentioned?”

The trap is that our Values are only being stimulated and activated by the “other”.  And if that other is gone, or is not doing their job of maintaining the feeding of your values, then we ain’t got no connection and flow.  And therefore no fulfillment and it’s still not sustainable.  After all, it can be a whole lot of work for the other to keep supporting and maintaining your values.  Especially when they have their own values that need to be met.

Now I know that you’re thinking, “Well, isn’t that what relationship is all about?  I feed your values, you feed mine.  And it’s even easier when we share similar values.”

And you would be very right.  That is the wonderful thing about intimate and deep relationships.  But again, I said that it is still unreliable and unsustainable, and it also requires a whole lot of energy.

Think about it: how wonderful it feels to provide the person you love with their experience of values.  But it also can become consuming.  Overwhelming.  And even sometimes a burden.  And what do you know?  We’re now not in the same fulfilling of values relationship we were once in.


You see, there’s an even bigger and better place to go.


Up in the Energy Levels.  And upwards into a higher you.

How do we do this?  Well, first off is that we let go of expecting or demanding that others provide our Values and instead we start giving them to ourselves.

When we do that, we instantly step into the world of “self-empowerment”, “self-ownership”, “self-growth”, “self-honoring”, and “self-love”.

Because our values are our own personal language of love.  So then we are giving ourselves love—not just saying blank and empty affirmations to try to convince ourselves “I love myself” but actually, truly, deeply loving yourself, then you are shifting into that higher place.

Bring your Values into your environment.  Incorporate your Values into your activities.  Express your Values in everything you do.

And when you give yourself your own Values several wonderful things happen.

  1. You get satisfied, happy and fulfilled. Cause… you know… That’s what Values do, right?
  2. You open pathways for others to connect to your Values. Cause, they’re looking for someone to engage with their own Values.  Right?
  3. You are able to more deeply and powerfully receive from others. Meaning the Values connecting they give to you will actually resonate even more fully.  Yeah, it magnifies.
  4. You are completely out of and above any level of safety, protect and defend. Which, in turn, makes it soooooooooo much easier to connect, engage and express your Values.  Right?


So while it’s wonderful to be with the one you love, and give them plentiful experiences to activate and stimulate their values while they provide you yours, as Mr. Stills says, “If you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you’re with.”

And the one you are always with, is you.

So love yourself.

And the super extra wonder bonus is that you are with YOU all the time.  Which means that you truly can give yourself deep fulfillment and powerful love through your own Values.


Case in point.  I have strong values of sharing, helping others, learning, exploring and discovering and seeing how things connect.

Now, I’m writing this as an action to connect with you, hoping that you have similar interests and Values.

But if I just rely on that for my fulfillment, then it’s not really a powerful place to come from.  My happiness and joy can only come from several things that need to occur. You need to read this.  You need to be inspired by it.  And you need then to somehow let me know how this impacted you.

And if all that happens, I will feel good for that small span of time that I read your comment and let it sink in.  But then, invariably, regardless of how wonderful that compliment and praise might feel in the moment, I will be easily distracted by the next thing I need to do to find fulfillment.  Or I will realize that I have many coaches on this mailing list and I only heard back from you?  Well, what about the other coaches?

You can see the trap forming.  My happiness and fulfillment relies on someone else.  It’s a well that never gets full.

But with a slight little shift: I write this to satisfy and fulfill my own Values to myself.  I write this piece because it interests me.  I craft it together because I love finding the right way I want to express my thoughts.  I love exploring and digging into deeper layers, connecting dots and finding rich lessons within.  Sure, it’s not completely fulfilling if it’s only kept to myself.  Because I also have a Value of sharing and helping others.   So I don’t send this out because “I hope you like it.”  (Of course I do.)

Rather, my main urge for sending this out is to fulfill and satisfy my own Values.


Then, when you send me an email saying how you loved this, sharing what you learned or how it impacted, passing along your own Values experience, that connects with my Values, instead of my fears of not being appreciated or accepted, that my contributions are meaningless.  (Those are all low level, making it hard to connect deeply, and there is nothing that allows your comments to stick.)


So when I come from my own Values, when I connect to them first and use them in my own activity and expression, when I insist that I give myself the gift of my own Values, then what I do will be fulfilling to me.  And when I find others who resonate with the same or similar, that connection and experience will be even better.


So perhaps the lyrics should be,

If you’re empty and feeling alone.
And you really wish you could connect with someone.
Keep on revealing.  Stay in the groove.Cause there are other people who are looking for you.

And if you’re wanting a fulfilling way
Remember  you’re with yourself every single day.
And if your Values are your language of love,
Honey, love the one you’re with.