September 16: Seeing ONLY The Good

I have realized a few things about my relationships over the years:

1-The one common denominator in all of my failed relationships is me.  This doesn’t mean I am a failure.  To me it now means I had some things I needed to work on, more skills I needed to acquire, and lessons I needed to learn, which could only come to me through these people.  Without these relationships, I never would have gained a thing.  Failure is an event, not a person, and I no longer consider any past relationship a failure.  Instead, I consider each one a success.  I am grateful for each and every relationship I have had over the years, and for the incredible lessons learned, all along the way.

2-There was at least one good lesson, or valuable life acquisition, which came from each one of these relationships.  I no longer consider any of them, “failures.”  Instead, I think of these relationships as valuable, necessary life steps, opportunities for growth, and a time to acquire and practice new skills.  ALL of these experiences have helped and empowered me to co-create more meaningful, enjoyable, progressively upgrading, beautiful relationships, as time continues to unfold.  My life, and each relationship, interaction, and connection I now have and enjoy is far more incredible, than they would have been had I not had these experiences.

Years ago, after my first divorce, I dated a woman who had two daughters.  I was a newly single dad with three sons.  The seven of us had fun for the brief time we spent together.

There were two good things that came from dating this woman with the two daughters all those years ago:

  1. The best cheese cake bite recipe in the world.
  2. The question she would ask at the end of each day: “What was your favorite part of today?”

This question, asked at the end of each day, to each of the kids and adults present, was a great way to wrap up any day.  Without fail, she would ask it of everyone, every day.  She said it was something she got from her mother.

The reason I now think it was such a great thing is because it changes and redirects ones focus to the positive.  There are no other options-to answer the question, you have to think of something good and enjoyable about the day.  Over time, with consistency, it literally reprograms the mind to seek our and see ONLY the good in things.  It is an especially great question to ask at the dinner table each night.  Within this habitual practice is the gift of ALWAYS finding good, no matter the outward circumstances we are experiencing.

It is like practicing gratitude, first thing in the morning each day.  When we think the same way, or repeat thoughts, words, and actions, they become habitual.  Because of neuroplasticity, the neurons in our brains that fire together wire together.  Our brains literally undergo a physical, chemical, and hormonal transformation, through thought alone!  We literally become changed through habitual positivity and gratitude.  Our mental, emotional, physical, chemical, and hormonal makeup is improved, over time, when we consistently practice positivity and gratitude.

For those parents wishing to reconnect with their children, of any age, starting or restarting the habit of a nightly dinner with no technology and this question can eventually become a time of the day that everyone looks forward to, sometimes without even realizing it.  The conversations that are inspired by this question and this practice are hilarious, fun, and sometimes serious, but always worth it.  It can become the greatest gift we give ourselves and our children in this world of so many distractions and potentially damaging programs.

Today, I will think back to each relationship I have had over the years, reviewing what good things have come from each one, empowering me to have a much more enjoyable life now, than I would have had without those experiences.  I will also try asking the questions of myself and those around me, “What was your favorite part of today?  What did you love about today?  What do you appreciate MOST about YOURSELF today?”

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Remember:  Mindset matters.  Character counts.  That which we choose to consistently focus on is what EXPANDS in our lives.  WE CREATE our realities.

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