Last week I shared with you 5 Key Ingredients You Must Have For A Satisfying Relationship That Lasts but there is one more ingredient that trumps all others in terms of keeping us on track and connected in a meaningful way.
This particular ingredient is especially useful for anyone who struggles in a committed, loving relationship, but it is also for those who might be struggling with their relationships with their children, their siblings, their neighbours or their co-workers. And it is even more useful when you don’t know what else to do.
You might be so frustrated with someone right now that you can’t even talk to them but by introducing this one ingredient into your relationship I know you could turn your relationship around faster than you can imagine.
The number one ingredient is (insert drumroll here) GRATITUDE. A simple act of recognising something positive about the person or people you are being challenged by can open up avenues of communication and connection that you hadn’t been able to access before.
Not only does gratitude open up communication and connection within our difficult relationships, it also sustains and sweetens our closest relationships and it makes them deeper and more fulfilling than ever. Starting of course with our relationship with ourselves.
How often do you tell yourself what you appreciate about you?
How often do you tell your partner something you appreciate and value about them?
What about your children? When was the last time you acknowledged something you value about them?
Do you have a sibling, a friend or a co-worker who could use a little gratitude and appreciation?
In my book 6 Keys To Happiness I share the ancient Indian story of the two wolves that live within us. One is good and one is bad and they are always fighting. The one who wins is the one we feed and we feed it with our attention.
In people, as in all aspects of life there is yin and yang, strengths and weaknesses, good and bad, positive and negative. Giving our attention to the positives in ourselves and in others doesn’t necessarily make the negatives go away but it does make us all feel better about ourselves and our lives.
Sometimes it is difficult to acknowledge the positives in another because they have hurt us deeply or rejected us in some way. As a result we want to close up and protect ourselves and the last thing we feel like doing is giving them anything let alone something that would make them feel good about themselves. We might even feel like taking it further and punishing them for what they have done to us.
By seeking out and acknowledging the things you value in others, however, you are creating an opportunity to connect with the good wolf within them and if this person is someone who is important to you then you are going to want to build your connection rather than let it fall away.
Starting with some gratitude and appreciation for yourself is often a good first step toward rebuilding a broken or damaged relationship. When we are feeling better and feeding the good wolf within ourselves it is so much easier to feel generous enough to give recognition and feed the good wolf within another.
Then make it a conscious and regular daily habit to say thank you for something your partner, sibling, child or co-worker has said or done. Let them know you notice the good in them and that you are grateful. It will change your relationships and it will change your life for the better.
Until next time…
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