Thursday, March 12, 2009
Have you ever observed a couple who has gone through challenges in their relationship, and together they successfully worked through it? Have you ever wondered what each of them did to contribute to their continuous success?
After a deep observation, you saw that they each appeared to possess an authentic inner peace and began to ask questions.
What is their secret for turning a negative situation into a positive one?
How did they do it?
Can others do it as well?
How were they different from others who allowed negative issues and challenges to take over the health of their relationship?
There are several answers to these questions. Perhaps some have yet to be discovered. After facilitating my relationship workshop, I found that several couples attested to having some of the same common threads that link together the successes in their relationships.
First, each partner has the desire to make the relationship work.
Second, they found happiness within and the ability to laugh at their own mistakes.
Third, they are able to allow their partner and themselves to make mistakes in the relationship.
Fourth, they had to find inner peace; realizing that no one, not even their partner could make them happy.
And finally, each had to search and find happiness within.
Many that have not learned these and other similar lessons may have a long road ahead. Some search for their own happiness and contentment through other people and things. They search everywhere, only to find that they still have that old familiar feeling called “emptiness.” Emptiness comes from:
Other negative self-inflicted feelings - feelings that have a way of weighing you down and keeping you from moving forward.
When you look for peace, joy and happiness in other places, often times you don’t receive all of the blessings and happiness that God has in store.
Since God is a jealous God, he doesn’t want us to worship any other god except Him. Exd 34:14 Essentially, that is what happens when you look for happiness through others. As a result, you allow yourself to be tormented by negative self-inflicted feelings.
On the other hand, there are those who understand that the secret to joy and happiness is not much of a secret at all. Regardless of their circumstances, they find happiness within and no longer look for it in other places. And as result, they live more productive lives individually and in turn become better partners in their relationships.
Have you ever seen a cancer patient, who was bright and cheery every time you saw them? They might smile, and wave with enthusiasm and say,
“How are you, today, Ma’am?”
“How can they be so happy, when they are critically ill? What is their secret?”
Again, the secret is not a secret. They possess the same inner peace as discussed earlier.
If you think about it, I am sure you can find several examples of people who possess determination to make it through their personal challenges, as well as those who decide to get and keep that inner-most peace.
Doing so is a choice that we all have. And with desire and determination, you have the ability to overcome many challenging situations and to build a strong healthier and fulfilling relationship.
Take the challenge and strive to make the most of your relationship today, because tomorrow is not promised. Expect things to go well, and then look for them to happen. You may be surprised at how much good you are overlooking.
Remember the old adage “Is the glass half empty or half full?” When you view the glass as half empty, you may be concentrating too much on not having enough to quench your thirst.
On the other hand, looking at the glass as half full enables you to enjoy every last drop, knowing that what’s left in the glass is all you need because God will provide you with more when you need it most.
Relationships can be viewed in a similar way. No relationship is perfect. However, there are times when we sabotage really good ones because, like the half empty example, we focus on it not being completely fulfilling.
But by viewing our relationship as half full we are able to concentrate on the delights and pleasantries that it brings each day. It’s all in how you look at it.
Make an effort to find your own inner peace and happiness. No one can do this for you
Write a list of what makes you truly happy
Write what it takes to give you the inner peace, contentment and joy that you seek
Write a commitment list of things you will do to make your relationship healthier and happier
Ask your partner to write a commitment list for the relationship
Read out loud your commitment list to your partner
Have your partner to read out loud his commitment list to you
Pledge to each other to do what it takes to keep your commitments
Write a list of things that you like about your partner
Ask your partner to write a list about what he likes about you
Read to each other out loud the lists that you both created
Meditate on your lists often
Update your lists often
Catch your partner doing something right and show your appreciation for it
Look for good things to happen
Expect and find good things in all situations
Goals for this assignment:
To discover and identify your own inner peace
To realize what happiness, inner peace and fulfillment mean to you
To promote happiness and joy in your relationship
To visually see what happiness looks like on paper
To share happy moments with your partner
To increase positive events and actions in your life
To make a commitment to be happy
To commit to doing things that promote happiness in your relationship
To exchange and share commitments with your partner
To exchange and share ideas that promote happiness in your relationship
Remember, in all things give thanks unto the Lord.
Until next time….