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Character Qualities Abraham Lincoln said, “Reputation is the shadow. Character is the tree.” Our character is not just what we try to display for others to see, it is who we are even when no one is watching. Generally speaking, Lincoln is correct. Our character does develop internally. If we have good character we are not going to steal that candy bar from Walgreen’s whether anyone is looking or not. However, when we have experienced trauma or other hardships, fear, confusion, pain or even simple shyness, may cause us to shut down some of our internal character qualities such as compassion. For example, even if someone has a sense of deep compassion, if they have experienced physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, they may opt out of showing compassion to someone who recently suffered a loss. Not because they don’t care, but because the impact of abuse made them fear getting too close to people. A compassionate but shy person may be reluctant to express compassion out of concern that he will do it wrong. In both cases, the lack of external expression does not negate that these people have an inner quality of compassion. They are out of touch with expressing it. As you do the work of restoration, you are working to uncover your authentic identity. Character qualities are part of that identity. Some character qualities are: compassion, loyalty, wisdom, sensitivity, and creativity. This worksheet will give you some practice is taking a closer look at three possible character qualities. Be aware – recognize your character qualities and work to develop them. Compassion: “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference”. ~ Elie Wiesel Compassion and hate are strong emotions. I understand that strong emotions keep me tied to whoever I feel strong emotions about. I recognize that I have stronger emotions for __________ than ______________________ because I feel _______________________ about __________ _______________________________________ and indifferent or uncommitted to _________ ____________________________. If I were to internalize ____________________________ __________________________ then I would be more committed to ____________________ ___________________________________________________________________________. I feel ______________________ about being tied to _________________________ so I will ___________________________________________________________________________.

Connections: A Safe Place, Davis and Born

Loyalty: “One of life’s greatest treasures is the love that binds hearts together in friendship”.



In my heart I am bound to ____________________________ because I am still believing ___________________________. In order to break this bind I would need to _____________ _________________or ____________________. To keep this binding of my heart to _______ _______________________requires that I choose ___________________________________ _______________instead of ____________________________________________________ and I am going to _____________________________________________________________.

Creativity: “The problems we face cannot be solved from the same thinking that prevailed when they were created”. ~ Albert Einstein I have a problem moving forward in ___________________________ because I cling to ____ ______________________ and have not really done _________________________________ ________________. I keep looking at this issue from the perspective of __________________ ________and I am not willing to _________________________________________________. So I suppose _________________________________________________________________.

Connections: A Safe Place, Davis and Born

Tab #4 character qualities