90-Day A Better Me Series
Part II: A Journey of Perspective
What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation
Day 49: Gratitude in Our Relationships
“Trade your expectations for appreciation and your whole world changes in an instant.”
When have expectations on the people closest to us, we are setting ourselves up to be let down time and time again. Nobody owes us anything. If we think that a person we love owes us something because we did something for them there is a debt to be paid, we gave to that person from a place of lack. When we demand respect, love, understanding, time, etc., we are not being honest about the intentions of why we chose to give in the first place. We might have been giving out of self-expectations, low self-worth, attachment to titles, to feel wanted, to feel needed, etc. None of those are giving from a place of love. When we have expectations of others to be more than who they are, we are coming from a place of lack. When we can be grateful for who they are and what they are capable of giving, we are coming from a place of abundance. We don’t need someone else to fill a hole inside of us. We are complete on our own. We can give without giving ourselves away because we are giving from a place of fullness. When we give from a place of love, we feel gratitude in the ability to give.
Giving from a loving place means we are keeping ourselves in the abundance of gratitude—Our relationships shift and change. The people who are stuck in their own dark place who fed off our demanding energy of lack will grow and change with us, or they will grow apart from us. Family members, friends, and partners who feel the new energy and embrace it will shift with us. We will actually see more of the light inside them too. We will appreciate those relationships even more.
“The thankful heart opens our eyes to a multitude of blessings that continually surround us.”
-James E. Faust
By keeping our focus on our gratitude, we start really seeing the partners and friends we choose to have in our lives. Our perspectives of truth (Days 43-46) shift and expand to see people from a more realistic view. We aren’t putting the relationships in the future or in the past, we are in the relationship right now. We are noticing what is happening now. If we have friends from the past, and we choose not to see them now because of our connection to the past, we miss opportunities to see who they are now. We might be missing the gifts that come from the growth each person has had.
When we are in intimate romantic relationships that are focused on the future, we are not seeing the person in front of us AT ALL! We are seeing the dream of who we are wishing them to be in terms of what we want for our future. That is way too much pressure to put on a relationship. Be grateful for the love now. Be grateful for the caring gestures now. Be grateful for the challenges now where you learn if this is even a person you want in your life. If they aren’t a person you want in your life, be grateful you figured that out. When we are grateful, we see the person in front of us. We learn and grow from their time in our lives and that is something to be grateful for no matter how long the relationship lasts. If they are not meant for the long term, we can be thankful for the things we learned and grow from there.
Even in our most intimate relationships, we can’t make our partners feel, think, act, or react in anyway that he/she doesn’t make the choice to do. We can’t make our partners happy. They have to choose to be happy, if they choose to be happy, they will appreciate our happiness and the happiness they share with us. They can’t make us happy either, because we have to make that choice for ourselves too. The same is true for anger, jealousy, etc. It’s all of it, light and dark energies. If we make someone else responsible for our feelings, thoughts, actions, and reactions we gave our power away from a place of lack and fear. It’s that hole some people feel that only an intimate partner can fill. That is a perspective of truth that is very painful for all parties involved. Knowing we are responsible for ourselves and our partners are responsible for themselves is a perspective of truth that leaves a lot of room for gratitude and expansion. We can help without enabling. We can serve without expecting. We can receive with full love for the gesture.
“No gesture is too small when done with gratitude.”
Side note: For those who have been caught in narcissistic relationships, living from a place of gratitude shifts your energy away from the narcissist. A narcissist needs chaos to thrive and feed on. Living in gratitude and feeling good about ourselves takes away their power of us. If you are still in the relationship they will fight against positive shifts. They will try anything to revert your energy back to a chaotic place where they can feel like they are in control. Keep focusing on gratitude, when you have reached a certain point the signs will be so clear when it’s time to leave. You won’t feel the chaos behind the choice. You will feel a peace inside you. It is a truly empowering moment. The shift is definitely something to be grateful for!
Communicating from the energy of gratitude and expansion keeps the defenses down. We can appreciate hearing their view, then explain ours. If we don’t treat differences like battlegrounds, we grow together. Just remember:
If you are having trouble with a family member, partner, or friend, keep them on your gratitude list. It will help you get out of your own unhealthy space of focusing your energy on lack, which is what creates the space of expecting people to be more than they are. We want to see people from our light, because it will not only help us focus on the light in them, but we will see their dark spots and know if we need to have space from this person. When we are in a dark place inside, we can want and expect people to show up more, but when we find our light, we may see space from them is a true blessing. We want to feed our peace, not our chaos. That is our responsibility to ourselves. When we have a grateful heart and share from a loving place, we feel good! NO ONE can take that away from us no matter how they respond to our loving action. We are full. We are abundant in loving energy. We can show up to our relationships with gratitude for whatever the day holds. There are so many blessings that come with relationships full of gratitude!
Just for Today
Focus your gratitude list on relationships you are struggling with. You will feel a clear energy shift with that person once you have found your own light. They will feel it too. It’s one of the miracles of gratitude. This may take a lot longer than one day if the dark energy you feel about the person runs deep. Keep going!
This exercise helped me move out of my own toxic space in unhealthy relationships and opened me up to countless blessings that I’m still experiencing today even know those particular people are long gone. I’m so incredibly grateful for the opportunities I got to learn about myself in those relationships. Their darkness ended up helping me to brighten my light. I’ve also felt amazing shifts in my relationships with my children, friends, and family members by focusing on this list. It really is an AMAZING journey!
With Love and Gratitude,
Rachael Wolff ©2019
Make sure to check back to read today’s Letter from A Better Me “Celebrating Gratitude in My Relationships”