We all are in relationships whether we realize that or not. They need not be marital or romantic, but may include co-workers, neighbors, and family members. Relationships are dynamic. In their constant state of change, sometimes things go bad and then get worse. Before you know it, a little issue can become a relation-threatening issue. Here is my secret tool and you will quickly note that it’s based for couples, but it doesn’t have to be. Better yet, it has always worked. It’s called the Two-Party Daily Gratitude Journal (TPDGJ).
The Two-Party Daily Gratitude Journal is just what its name implies. You and the other person simply enter something daily (about five things) that you are grateful for regarding that other person. Feel free to use your imagination. Be creative, for if you are authentically coming from your heart, there can be no wrong or bad entries. This is not a secret or a diary, but rather short, brief or a statement meant to be shared with that person. You can enter your gratitude points anytime during the day, but you both review them as you close the day. It’s a great conversation starter – and potentially more. For intimate couples the TPDGJ may be a superb way to end the day. It fosters intimacy and makes for improved communication, which builds better relationships.
For example, you might say that you are grateful for the time spent, the look or gesture extended, the gift (smile, touch), the service or support provided, how they made you feel or whatever they do or are that means something to you. This is meant to be uniquely personal without any negativity or judgment. Then you both read the other’s entry. And remember, no bad looks or challenging gestures, simply soak their comments in. A simple thank you might be okay or you might ask for a clarification, but keep it strictly loving and non-threatening.
This can be and should become a ritual. And it can have even more impact when there is stress or anger brewing, so don’t just do it when you are both in a great mood. Remember there is good in everyone – especially your partner, so look for it and write it down.
By focusing upon that which we have to be grateful, we attract more of the same. This snowballs into an avalanche of good things that you will start to attract to you and your relationship. It also can spur an “ah ha moment” that knocks down any walls that might have been building between you.
The Universe contains all that we are quick to judge as good and bad, right and wrong. There is no escaping that. Our choice is to focus upon the good. This is more than a “Pollyanna” tactic; it is a powerfully cogent choice that will influence every aspect of your life. The choice is yours and it always has been, with this being a tool to keep you aligned with your best self and in doing so, raise the vibration level of your partner too. After all great relationships are based upon being in synch with each other.
So what if your partner doesn’t want to participate? Well, first be patient with them. Secondly, start your side of the journal ledger; do your work. Share your entries if you can, but don’t fret if they aren’t receptive. This is not about you changing your partner, it’s about you – about you opening up to the beauty, joy, and love around you. And sooner or later, your partner may be swept up in your new enthusiasm and joy, and your relationship will blossom.
This concept of this tool can be applied to business and other aspects of life as well. “Strong authentic leaders” intuitively practice this positive loving approach, while weak, insecure ones lead from fear. You may share with colleagues at meetings why you appreciate them and their contributions as opposed to berating or criticizing them. With time, you might invite them to volunteer anything they are grateful for – and there are no ‘wrong’ offerings. And if others are uncomfortable sharing, that’s alright, just keep your own Gratitude Journal and be brave enough to continue to express yourself.
And the point with friends, family members, and others is to look for the good in them and occasionally share that with them. Don’t worry about what they’ll say or how they will react. Remember it’s not about changing them, but rather opening up your own heart and focusing upon the richness that surrounds you. Don’t wait until it’s too late; see what you can give today.
I guarantee this tool to work magnificently provided you give it patience, practice forgiveness and acceptance, and avoid judgment. So start right this moment; don’t delay. You will be in for a most delicious ride and relationship!