Probably the nicest, most impacting gift I ever received from my husband was for our 48th anniversary. He gifted me with a beautifully designed leather-bound journal that he had been writing in for a year. For a solid year, every day, he noted something he loved about me. He wrote just inside the cover, “I committed to adding one thing each day for the entire year leading up to our 48th anniversary. And yes, the reticular activator kicked in. Because I was looking for specifically one thing I love about you, I noticed so may things that it became easier and easier each day. I never struggled to come up with just one thing. I never wrote ahead and I never told a single person. I wanted to make sure the motivation was only to express my love to you….not because I answered a goal I had to reach.”
How could I not love this guy?! I was overwhelmed with gratitude and brimming with love. And I have thought of this gift often. When I hear a friend bashing her spouse or a man degrading his wife, I wonder if they are focusing more on the negatives and forgetting the positives.
Bing Crosby once crooned in Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive:
You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between.
I think it would be a good little ditty to sing every morning. Whether it is how you look at your day, your work, your life, your spouse, your children…..”Latch on to the affirmative.” Perhaps it’s another way of seeing the glass half full rather than half empty. We have choices every day about what we think and do.
That little journal Dan gave me two years ago has definitely given me pause to consider what I love about him when I am disappointed, angry or frustrated. Ironically, it’s the very things that sometimes irritate me that are what drew me to him in the first place.
I could make a long list of why I love my spouse. In fact, I have done just that on many occasions and listed a few in my Creating a Haven of Peace book. The gentle reminder that love is more important than criticism, love is more important than being right, love is more important than the small details…..is what makes for strong and lasting relationships. When I concentrate of the positives….latching on to the affirmatives…..I see the man I have loved for five decades, not just the man I have endured. I am not satisfied with “Mister In-Between”. I want the best relationship I can have and that is accomplished best by acknowledging every day that practicing being love and being kind is better than being right!
I challenge you to create your own journal. It doesn’t have to be a whole year. Do it daily just like you would a gratitude journal. Why I love you….. I guarantee you will begin to look at your partner more with loving eyes than with critical ones. Let me know how this works for you! I’d love to hear.