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How to Appreciate your Mate (or anyone else)
First, notice what bugs you
Yes, it's important to acknowledge what you're not too enamored with before you go into the exercise below. Why? Because when we clearly experience and know what we do not want, we then can more vividly realize what we do want. So, she never finishes anything, or she grumps around more than you'd like. Or maybe he drinks just a little too much, or he doesn't value healthy food like you do. Write it down. It's great to make a mental list, but it's all the more powerful to put pen to paper or fingertips to keyboard.
If it feels valuable, sit with that list for a day or two, but please don't stay in that frame of mind for a life time! By the way, this isn't something you need to do with your partner. It's not like I'm telling you to trash your mate. Take some time to do this from your perspective only.
Now it's time to Flip the Coin
If your mate or the person you've chosen to do this exercise about (can be yourself or anyone else) has a long list of not so hot qualities, you are probably wondering where exactly to start with this.
Think back to when you first met or when you feel really happy with your mate. What qualities come to mind? Maybe it's that he does the dishes, or dresses neatly. Maybe she really has fun with the kids, or loves to garden. If this is about your child, maybe he is really creative and funny. If this is about you, maybe you are sincere and have fun finding new interests. Certainly anyone has some traits worthy of appreciation.
Now it's time to make another list, starting with those desirables you just brought to mind. If you only get one down, it is a start! Each day, add to your list during a time you have a few quiet moments to really feel what you are writing. You will find that as you commit to making a comprehensive list of this person's positive attributes, it will grow and grow. What is also amazing is that if you choose to take this one step further, not only will you have a pen and paper list to refer to in moments of frustration, your perspective will change in such a way that you will mostly see these positives, rather than negatives.
What's in it for Me, you say?
So you have made a list of the nasty, and the nice. Now, focus on the nice. Through continuing to add to your list on a daily basis (before bed is a really great time), you will have more and more good to focus on. Since you have acknowledged the things you find annoying or down right disasterous, you do not have to expend any more energy there. (Barring a need to just get away from this person or get help - by all means take care of yourself, here). Magically, when you choose to illuminate the positive it must either show up or the relationship will change in a way that you will no longer be affected by the negative in the same way you previously were.
This can work even in situations where you are sure you do not want to be with your mate, but you don't want to be evil enemies either. When you realize what you would carry into another relationship it can really put into perspective how beautiful the relationship is in many aspects.
For those who are in relationship with others because they want to be such as a marriage or with children, the power of appreciation here can literally change your life.
With dedication and perserverance, some focused time, and a willingness to see the glass as half full, the little things will melt away and you will be able to see your relationship for what it really is.
Oh, and as a little added note: the magic I spoke of is really all about the nature of our being in relationships. Whatever you focus on becomes what you will predominantly see. So you may need to repeat the exercises until you are in that state of appreciation more and more, and more and more, and more...
Have fun :o)
About Rainbow Recognizer
Amy Phoenix is a gentle, yet direct parenting guide and healing facilitator dedicated to sharing insights and practices to transform frustration and anger, heal the past and nurture conscious relationships – to appreciate all aspects of life. Visit her at www.innatewholeness.com.