Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems to fall into place? Almost as though you didn’t even have to do anything, but be a passenger and enjoy the ride through those 24 hours. I love those days when I wake up well rested and even before I have climbed out of bed, a smile has crept across my lips. I can already feel it…it’s going to be a good day! There is already an energy, a tingling, a peace. I feel the optimism and happiness of knowing the day belongs to me and whatever I feed it. Twenty-four hours of bliss…no matter what happens, because this day is a gift. I am empowered by the love for those in my life. I am empowered by my thankfulness in being able to live my life freely. I am empowered by my appreciation in knowing I am enveloped in a relationship, one in which we value each other.
How do I know these things?
Because of gratitude…the act of being thankful.
How many of us can relate to those days where we see only ourselves. Where our vision turns inward, but not inward in a way of reflection on the positives, but inward in a way of discounting all that surrounds us. Those days in which our focus never strays away from our wants. Those days where we get caught up in what we don’t have. Those days where gratitude is so far off in the distance we fail to recognize its existence. Those days in which our view is blocked, blocked because we are standing in the way.
I think most of us would agree, the days filled with gratitude, generate a much more pleasant energy than those days where we stay locked inside ourselves. But, how can we ensure our day (and nights) is filled with gratitude? What are some ways we can guarantee a gratitude centered existence? Here are a few ways, John and I have found to make gratitude work for us:
1. Make a conscious choice to be grateful.
Wait! You mean to tell me that just by saying I’m going to be grateful, will make me more grateful? Yep. Try it. Tomorrow when you wake up, do it. Wrap your partner in your arms and say, “I am so grateful to have you in my life.” And don’t just say it…mean it! Spend the rest of the day filling yourself (and others) with the gift of gratitude, and as the day progresses you will begin to see and feel how gratitude creates a peace and contentment in your life.
2. Do something loving for your partner.
One of the best ways to shatter the self absorbed rut we sometimes fall into, is to focus on something else. I can’t think of a better focus than your partner. How wonderful it is to have someone by your side through thick and thin. To go through life with a best friend, a lover, a confidant, all wrapped in one! Someone who understands you, someone who loves you to the core, someone just as committed to the relationship as you are. A loving, grateful gesture can be as simple as a note letting them know how special they are to you. I remember one time, when John and I were traveling. As I was unpacking, I came across a handful of “love notes” hidden inside the folds of my neatly packed suitcase. John had taken the time to write and slip each note inside for me to find. Not only did he show gratitude, but I felt appreciated as well.
3. Say thank you.
These two little words, can sometimes get lost in the hustle and bustle of our day. We can become so comfortable with the status quo, we forget to acknowledge all those “little” things our partner does to make our lives easier and more enjoyable. “Thanks for a wonderful meal!” “Thank you for taking the trash out.” “Thank you for being so supportive.” “Thank you for being such a beautiful partner.”
4. Be interested in what your partner wants to tell or show you.
Think about it, out of all the millions of people on the planet, your partner wants to share something with YOU! I know how hard it can be sometimes, especially, when you feel like you are in the middle of a project, to stop and listen or look at something your partner finds interesting, but I also know the rapture in being given someones undivided attention. I actually gain quite a lot of joy and gratitude when I am working in my office and I hear John call my name, or I hear his footsteps on the stairs. A smile spreads across my lips, knowing that of all the people he could share this moment with, he has chosen to share it with me…gratitude at it’s finest!
5. Be patient.
This can be especially true in the world of swinging relationships. Even if you and your partner have decided to move full speed ahead when it comes to opening up your relationship, the process can and usually is different for each partner. So, don’t forget to be patient, not only with yourself, but especially with your partner. I remember well, when John and I first began opening up our relationship to include others, I definitely endured a processing period as I navigated my way through developing a new thought pattern, and testing the waters so to speak, in this new relationship dynamic. I am so grateful to John for being so constant and loving during this learning phase and I know he is equally grateful for my patience as well. I can’t think of a more loving action, than to reach out your hand to your partner and say, ” I am right beside you, we will walk this road together.”
So make the decision today, to be grateful. Make the choice to thank not only your partner, but all the others who touch your life and give you strength…and don’t forget to be grateful for you!