Relationships have a lot of spark in their beginnings, and most of us love falling in love.
And then. Something. Happens.
Suddenly the you-are-so-cute-I-even-love-your-farts phase makes way for the I'm-going-to-duct-tape-your-butt-shut-if-you-fart-one-more-time phase.
If you think I'm being ridiculous, think about a new baby and how cute everything they do is, then think about that same baby as a teenager, and you don't think it's cute anymore.
Am I right?
I can't tell you how to handle delicate situations such as these, but I can help you rekindle the memory of the love you have for them, even when you feel angry at them.
This might sound crazy, but the answer is to cultivate gratitude for them, even in the midst of irritation.
I had a past relationship that used to trigger the heck out of me, but I wanted to be in the relationship. I created a gratitude journal just for this relationship.
Whenever I would get mad enough to spit nails, I would retreat to my room with my journal, and I would write down reasons why I was grateful for this person until I actually was. I wouldn't stop until I had tears of grateful joy flowing down my face. And it didn't take long, either!
I would never repeat reasons, and the first entries each time would feel forced - and they were - but I would keep going. I kept digging deeper and deeper until I felt overwhelmed with love.
The thing that makes you mad might still be an issue, but it's a whole lot easier to talk about it and work it out with an open heart full of love.
It only takes one person to completely change a relationship. The other person doesn't even have to know.
I remember when I was in my early teens, maybe 13, I was having trouble with a girl at school who wanted to hurt me bodily, and another who just didn't like me and said mean things to me.
I'm not a big fan of either of those scenarios.
I confided in my spiritual mentor one day, and she gave me some advice: Say "I love you" silently in your head every time you see either of these girls.
I was dubious, but she asked me just to try it and see. I didn't love these girls. I didn't even like these girls, but my mentor said it didn't matter. Do it anyway.
I was terrified, because I was sure I was going to get beaten to a pulp, but when I saw my tormentor between classes, I thought at her, "I love you" before I averted my eyes to the ground and raced away. I did the same with the other girl. Every time I saw them, I repeated I love you in my head.
In a short time, maybe a week or a week and a half, the bully had moved on and was friendly toward me, and the girl who didn't like me struck up a short conversation to tell me I was pretty.
It worked! I was really excited. I mean really, really excited about this discovery. I mean the I-didn't-get-beat-up kind of excited.
Throughout my life, I've used this same idea in all situations, for good reason, and for no reason at all. I like to test ideas, and this one is going on 30 years in my life. I still find new ways to use this idea. It never fails me.
Nowadays when I hug people - and I hug people a lot! - I say from my heart to their heart, "Thank you, I love you." And I mean it, even if I don't know the person personally.
I love you just because you exist.
Thank you for existing.
I know people feel it. I get spontaneous feedback that I am a great hugger, or people asking me what was in that hug or having tears for "no reason" (it's the love). One time, a woman even fell to her knees and wept after I hugged her. She thought it was me, but it was love moving in her heart. Me? No, I was bright red and trying to help her to her feet.
Love is a force. It is incredibly powerful. And love is impersonal. That's why this works. The love in me knows the love in you. The love I am knows the love you are.
Fondness is personal. We can like or dislike personalities. That is personal. We can be attracted or repulsed. That is personal. But love, love is what we are.
So before you say your relationship (any relationship) is hopeless because the other person isn't into personal growth and talking about their feelings, think again.
You've got the power of love in your corner, and no one else even has to know about it.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
1900 Swift Street
North Kansas City, MO