Gratitude Posts

Opening your Mind to New Thoughts About Your Relationship

One of the interesting parts of our lives is the way we use our brain and how it effects how we live. In essence, we create our lives in how we think about things. When we have a very narrow criteria for something, we often make poor decisions. For instance, I find that the opinions of many people on the criteria for a good marriage is very poor. They look at their personal happiness as a criteria. They look at their challenges in the relationship as severe. They look at their differences together as insurmountable. They look at their negative feelings as proof. They “try” to talk things over and are unsuccessful and therefore they are doomed. When their partner tries to improve they say – they are only doing it for me. In fact, everything in the relationship has this double bind that in effect, their partner has no way to make the relationship better.
Think about your criteria for your partnership. How do you think about long term committed relationships? For instance, happiness is important to our health and well being as is being in a committed relationship. But happiness is a byproduct of what we are personally doing as well as what we are sharing with one another as a couple. You are responsible for your happiness. Gratitude leads to happiness. Are you grateful in your relationship? The meaning you find in your work leads to your happiness. Are you taking care of those things that are outside your relationship? Such as the balance of your life and your self care? Your challenges in your relationship are an opportunity to grow. This is the way the world of relationships works. You have parts of you that are underdeveloped and your relationship provides the opportunity to recognize those and to upgrade your life. Be open. Walk through a new door of beliefs. Differences are rarely insurmountable. Love is not about your partner being a reflection of you but about your ability to appreciate your partner’s differences and honor them. Get real about negative feelings. Oh my goodness, somehow people don’t realize that their negative feelings are a reflection of their negative thoughts and where they are focussing. I am not saying disregard your negative feelings but use that information to know what is going on inside for you. Take them as a signal to make some changes on the outside. Your feelings and thoughts come from a past that is unexamined as well as from your present circumstances. Find out what the hurts and the fears represent and make positive changes in your life towards that. When talking things over with your partner and repair attempts do not work, do not assume it is about incompatibility but it is most likely about the state of the friendship in the relationship. How have you been working on that part of the foundation of the relationship? Have you been neglecting that for busyness of children or work or? Repairing and managing conflict depends on a solid friendship. And finally (there are so many more crazy beliefs but this is it for now), let your partner do things for you out of love. When you are doing this for your children, you see this as normal. You may visit your parent in a home out of love. Acceptance of your partner’s attempts at loving you and keeping the relationship alive is part of YOUR obligation in the commitment. When couples are in a bad place they will often further sabotage their relationship by not accepting loving gestures from their partner, believing they are just doing it because it is expected or some other reason that is not helpful. Be open to the positives in your relationship and create some yourself today.  Go forth and be wonderful!

New Traditions Can Create New Levels of Happiness in Relationships

This is a great day to set up a new tradition of gratitude in this season. Every day of the season, name something that you are grateful for that happened this year. Some of the time, focus on the couple relationship or your partner in your gratitude. Decide together to do some things for others that affirms your own multiple blessings this year. When you are grocery shopping (my cart is usually very full when buying family Christmas meals, an indication of lots of blessings), buy an extra something and put it in the food boxes that take collections at this time of the year. Put a quarter in the parking meter to help out the next person. When you get a coffee, think of someone else who might like one. Leave muffins for the custodians who clean your office. Look at how some little things, done from the heart might really cheer your mate. For instance, fill their car with gas, vacuum their car out for the season, make their favourite meal. You will be surprised at the change in your own mood and the climate of your day and relationships. I know people who do this on a regular bases and just thinking about them right now brings a smile to my face. These activities must be done with an open heart and come from the knowledge of the fullness of life you have experienced over the year. Try this, even if it is just around the dinner table. Go forth and be wonderful – I am cheering you on!